The Era of Infinite Computing (or Limitless Computing): Jeff Kowalksi, CTO of Autodesk, talks Rendering on the Cloud at Autodesk University 2010

The theme of “Infinite Computing” was introduced by Jeff Kowalski, CTO of Autodesk, during the general session keynote last week at Autodesk University 2010. Infinite computing, or limitless possibilities where computing power is no longer treated as a limited resource, is an emerging tool for architects and the industry.  How will architects utilize this new limitless computing resource? Kowalski highlighted rendering as an ideal application of cloud computing because it is a computer intensive process that ties up workstations. To make full use of this powerful new infinite computing toolkit, Kowalski called for a change in mindset.  Cloud computing, Kowalski said, has two primary benefits for rendering:

  • Compute locally for smaller jobs or compute on the cloud for large jobs
  • Rendering on the cloud can be done without any time impacts on local resources

This raises a question: is Autodesk in the rendering on the cloud business? For AutoCad only (named Project Neon). After returning from Autodesk University, I can happily say we still remain the only company still rendering Revit scenes and walkthroughs on the cloud with mental ray (the same photorealistic rendering engine found in Revit). We maintain the same camera view, entourage, custom materials and families, lighting, sun, sky, and transparency options.

If you are interested in viewing the keynote, visit Autodesk University Virtual ( The keynote also included other interesting talks including the introduction of the fully electric Tesla sedan and making of Tron.

Infinite Computing: Introduced December 2010 Las Vegas, NV

Limitless Computing: Introduced February 2006 Boulder, CO

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About Dr. Errin

Errin is a principal at Limitless Computing Inc., a Boulder, CO company specializing in mobile Augmented Reality and cloud computing. As a former former archaeologist and NASA consultant, she has a diverse background and interests including satellite remote sensing, geophysics, GIS, and climate studies. Errin holds a PhD in anthropology where she specialized in utilizing high resolution satellite imagery to locate archaeological sites across Central America.