IRIDAS Demonstrates the Power of the GPU at SIGGRAPH

Render-Quality Playback of RAW Footage in
FrameCycler and SpeedGrade

Los Angeles: August 13, 2008 … IRIDAS, the world leader in RAW playback technologies, is drawing crowds to the PNY booth (#747) at SIGGRAPH 2008. Visitors are experiencing first-hand the image fidelity of IRIDAS’ RealTime RAW 2.0 in SpeedGrade and FrameCycler. By leveraging the power of the new graphics cards from NVIDIA by PNY, IRIDAS provides real-time de-Bayering of RAW content allowing filmmakers to review and color correct content at up to 4K resolution straight from the digital cinema camera.

IRIDAS introduced the industry’s first GPU-based color grading technology with the original release of SpeedGrade in 2003. Adjustments were applied non-destructively via the graphics processor in real-time. In 2007 IRIDAS used the same approach for interpolating unrendered RAW formats so they display correctly. To date IRIDAS is the only developer offering universal support for all available digital cinema RAW camera formats. Since IRIDAS applications run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and are interoperable with a growing list of other systems, filmmakers can now realize RAW workflows with a wide range of pipeline configurations.

“There is a misperception in the industry, that Bayer interpolation of RAW files has to be done through the CPU,” explained IRIDAS CEO Lin Kayser. “Using the CPU is problematic because it overloads one system and the result is poor performance. Image quality is compromised because you have to use a less demanding algorithm. We solve that by distributing the work evenly: the CPU handles the loading, decoding and playback while the massively parallel GPU does the real-time image rendering. Our approach provides 4K playback rivaling the image quality of offline algorithms.”

With a five-year head start, IRIDAS has had time to master the art of writing code for the high performance shader technology available with graphics cards such as the Quadro FX 5600 from NVIDIA/PNY. “We get the most out of the GPU by optimizing every individual pixel shader for performance,” said Michael Gallo, VP of development at IRIDAS. It can be painstaking work, but it has paid off brilliantly in terms of image quality and color fidelity.”

With the trend towards digital cinema cameras, filmmakers are looking for reliable technologies which simplify their workflows. “The advantages of working in RAW are obvious,” said Lin Kayser. “Files are approximately one third the size of an equivalent RGB file and yet they give you ‘more image’ to work with, because they represent the actual sensor data.”

Visitors to SIGGRAPH this week can visit IRIDAS at the PNY booth (#747) to see RealTime RAW 2.0 with SpeedGrade XR running both standard and stereo 3D content. IRIDAS will also join PNY at NVISION 08 August 25-7 at the San Jose Convention Center. For more information, please contact IRIDAS at +49 89 330 35 142, IRIDAS USA at (818) 951-8927, or visit

IRIDAS pioneered desktop film-resolution playback in 2001. Its FrameCycler products are now the industry standard for frame-based image review. In 2003 IRIDAS introduced the first non-destructive color correction application. Today SpeedGrade and FrameCycler provide the critical links in an end-to-end pipeline for uncompressed content and color metadata. IRIDAS’ applications are used by filmmakers around the world and most major animation and postproduction houses. IRIDAS is an independent, privately held company headquartered in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit

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