It may seem like many moons ago since we first learned about the Lucid HYDRA product, but it looks as if there is a significant advancement for the technology courtesy of a Japanese computing company called ELSA.  ELSA is a system designer that targets high end graphics systems for HPC (high performance computing), broadcast and medical organizations.

Apparently coming in March, ELSA is going to be distributing systems that support dual and quad-GPU configurations with ANY vendor using the Lucid HYDRA controller that allows for GPU scaling regardless of your platform and even GPU driver.  While the initial excitement we had for the product Lucid has developed has wanned slightly without news or progress on the enthusiast front, the theoretical performance gains from a non-proprietary GPU scaling engine are still very enticing and the ability for the HYDRA engine to break up the gaming (and obviously medical and HPC) tasks into much finer packets should allow for a higher scaling percentage as they increase the number of GPUs in a system.
Lucid HYDRA powered quad-GPU setup

There are not a lot more details on this release about the project that ELSA and Lucid have partnered on, but there are some photos that show various configurations that will be available including this quad-GPU setup (seemingly using Quadro FX4800 cards or something like them) seen above.  I am still hoping to see a product for the PC gaming and enthusiast market this year but it is nice to see Lucid getting some design wins in so that our hopes for consumer product implementations can live on. 
Jan 30th 2009 ELSA Japan (located in Tokyo, Minato district, President – Mr. Nagai Jun), a leading computer graphics solution provider and Lucidlogix (Kfar Netter, Israel, CEO – Moshe Steiner) announce an agreement to deploy Lucid’s HYDRA based chip in ELSA Japan High Performance products.

The companies have teamed up to transform high performance computing in the Japanese marketplace. For the first time, a product based on Lucid’s HYDRA technology will be used in a new line of ELSA Japan high performance systems for the HPC, broadcast and medical markets.

End of Mar 2009, The new solution will allow ELSA to provide a cost affective solution based on multi GPUs from any vendor. First products will feature dual and quad GPU configurations.

By combining Lucid’s component with Elsa Japan’s PCI-Express end-point device and remote graphics offering, a fully scalable and flexible system can be achieved for the first time at affordable price points.

“We are pleased to partner with ELSA, which has the reputation for providing leading performance computing solutions to the Japanese market. ELSA’s selection of Lucid products for graphics and high performance computing platforms demonstrates our commitment to deliver a unique and powerful parallel processing architecture,” said Offir Remez, President of Lucid. “HYDRA technology will allow ELSA to combine multiple GPUs on one device, for efficient, high performance in compute intensive, large scale visualization scenarios.”

“Partnership with Lucid is very important for our customers who require high performance computer. We can provide scalable performance and configurable solutions to break through the performance barrier.” said Jun Nagai, president, ELSA Japan Inc.