AMD Partners Recognized By Prestigious Computerworld Honors Program
--Jim Henson's Creature Shop Uses AMD Technology to Win 21st Century Achievement Award in Entertainment Industry --
SUNNYVALE, CA --
AMD today announced that Jim Henson's Creature Shop has won top honors at the Computerworld Honors Program which annually recognizes innovative applications of technology that benefit society.
Jim Henson's Creature Shop won the 21st Century Achievement Award in the "Media, Arts & Entertainment" category for its AMD Athlon™ processor-based workstations, called Henson Digital Performance Studio (HDPS). The Creature Shop, which works closely with movie studios, brings inanimate creatures to life through hand puppetry, animatronics and computer technology. HDPS is a hardware/software combination that allows a single puppeteer to control in real time the hundreds of character movements of a computer-generated character with their two hands.
"We're excited and honored to win," said David Barrington Holt, creative supervisor of Jim Henson's Creature Shop. "Those outside our industry rarely appreciate how cutting-edge our work in the performance field can be. AMD was quick to recognize the potential of what we were doing, and provided us with a great product (AMD Athlon processors) and fantastic support."
Fifty nominees were selected as finalists from an original field of 311 "laureates," including all three of AMD's nominees: Jim Henson's Creature Shop, Tiqit Computers, and the University of Kentucky. The finalists are divided into ten categories---manufacturing, science, transportation, etc.---and one winner is selected from each category.
"We're thrilled that all our nominees made it into the final five in their respective categories. Each is a true visionary in its use of information technology," said Steve Zelencik, senior vice president at AMD. "We like to recognize our partners, especially when they've made outstanding contributions, as these companies have."
Tiqit Computers, founded by Stanford professor Vaughan Pratt, makes one of the world's smallest PCs, using AMD technology. Tiqit was a finalist in the "Manufacturing" category.
"We're delighted that the Computerworld Honors Program allows startups like Tiqit to compete on an equal footing with well-established companies," said Dr. Pratt.
The University of Kentucky earned a spot as a finalist in the "Science" category due to the work of Dr. Hank Dietz and his team who assembled a supercomputer using 64 AMD Athlon processor-based PCs in a Beowulf cluster.
"These awards span a very wide range," said Dr. Dietz, electrical engineering professor and James F. Hardymon Chair in Networking. "Seeing all the innovative ways people have been using computing has made me think about applications I hadn't previously considered."
In the growing Hollywood field of digital content creation, the Creature Shop's latest innovation has melded computer graphics and animatronics in a way never seen before.
"The HDPS developed by The Creature Shop is an amazing piece of technology," AMD's Zelencik explained. "Winning the 21st Century Achievement Award is recognition that The Creature Shop has created a breakthrough in the field of Motion Capture."
The awards were presented Monday night at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Nominees for this program are made by the Computerworld Honors Chairmen's Committee, comprised of 100 chairmen, presidents and CEOs of leading information technology companies around the world, including W.J. (Jerry) Sanders, III, Chairman and CEO of AMD. Members of the committee nominate companies they consider exceptional in their field.
Each nominee to the Computerworld Honors Program is asked to submit a case study describing the project or application that is the basis for their nomination. After the case study is accepted, the nominees are honored as "Laureates" at a ceremony held earlier in the year. All Laureate Case Studies become part of the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the National Museum of American History.
"Jerry Sanders, and the company he founded, AMD, have been part of the IT revolution for more than 30 years," said Zelencik. "That's why we're happy to help document those companies whose efforts promote positive social economic and educational change."