Expanding AECO industry possibilities with generative AI

Mike Leach, Senior Manager, Lenovo Workstation and Vertical Solutions, and Christopher Ruffo, Worldwide Segment Manager, Lenovo Architecture, Engineering and Product Development

It’s no secret – the architecture, engineering, construction and operations (AECO) industries are undergoing a major digital transformation, driven by the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-optimized graphics processing units (GPUs).

One area where this evolution is being increasingly felt is in the practice of architectural visualization, which has long been pivotal in bringing architectural designs to life. For example, renders that used to take minutes or hours now happen in real time. Concept design now goes beyond the sketch, with generative AI producing incredible visuals to take designs in bold new directions.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, an AI assisted visualization is worth a million”, notes Chris Ruffo. “With ever increasing graphics horsepower and new software enhancements featuring AI; state of the art cinematic visualization is within reach of every architect designer and engineer.”

To help architects, designers and engineers realize the full value and possibilities of today’s AI and GPU-fueled innovations, Lenovo has developed one of the industry’s largest portfolios of AI-Ready solutions – powered by Lenovo ThinkStation and ThinkPad P Series workstations delivering the highest levels of performance and efficiency to tackle the most demanding AI workflows.

Artificial Intelligence is not merely a destination but rather an ongoing journey towards innovation and transformation. In today’s digital age, it stands as one of the most crucial general-purpose technologies, presenting both challenges and opportunities for businesses. Therefore, it is imperative to navigate this journey with a trusted technology provider who can facilitate seamless scaling and growth. By harnessing potent tools such as machine and deep learning, large language modeling, data science, and analytics, organizations of all sizes are now equipped to leverage the full potential of AI and pave the way for a future powered by intelligent automation and data-driven decision-making.

Purpose-Built to Handle the Most Intensive AI Tasks
Architectural visualization has some of the most demanding workflows in AECO, especially now that AI is accelerating visualization software in many different areas. To take full advantage of these transformative technologies, it is more important than ever to have the right workstation hardware in place.

Lenovo ThinkStation desktop workstations and ThinkPad P Series mobile workstations with powerful NVIDIA RTX GPUs are purpose-built to accelerate the most challenging AI tasks. The Lenovo ThinkStation PX, with support for up to four NVIDIA RTX 6000 Ada Generation GPUs, can handle the most intensive AI and visualization workflows. This includes training LoRAs for Stable Diffusion, a deep learning text-to-image generative AI model, or rendering V-Ray scenes at lightning speeds.

The ThinkPad P1 Gen 7 seamlessly integrates Intel® Core™ Ultra processors and up to an NVIDIA RTX 3000 Ada Generation GPU to deliver a flexible, high-performance, and energy-efficient AI engine to power workloads whenever and wherever needed. The built-in neural processing unit (NPU) is dedicated to offloading light, continuous AI tasks, while the NVIDIA RTX GPU handles more demanding day-to-day AI processing. This collaborative effort ensures smooth and efficient functioning of AI technologies, catering to the diverse needs of professionals engaged in tasks ranging from 3D modeling and scene development to AI inferencing and training.

The Lenovo ThinkStation P3 Ultra small form factor redefines efficiency and power with its groundbreaking 3.9L form factor, delivering optimal performance within a compact chassis. This innovative workstation is tailored for sophisticated workflows requiring adaptability and space optimization, and can be rack-mounted to scale complex workflows. No task is too demanding for the ThinkStation P3 Ultra SFF, as its customizable configurations cater to even the most intricate workloads, guaranteeing seamless operation now and in the future.

Mike Leach adds, “With AI positioned as a defining technology of our era, kickstarting an implementation journey can feel daunting. Lenovo offers valuable insights on how organizations can navigate this technological landscape effectively, starting from foundational steps to embracing hybrid working models, leveraging generative AI, and undertaking global deployments. These strategic moves not only help in cost reduction but also elevate workforce agility, enabling organizations to thrive in this ever-evolving business ecosystem.”

Upleveling AI and Visualization Workflows with NVIDIA GPUs
NVIDIA GPUs, at the heart of every Lenovo workstation, are a critical component for AI and architectural visualization in general. Tensor cores within the GPUs are dedicated entirely to AI processing to massively accelerate generative AI tools like Stable Diffusion, and dramatically boost performance in real-time visualization software through NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS).

ThinkStation PX in Data Science

For visualization workflows, one of the most important characteristics of NVIDIA RTX GPUs is the amount of dedicated on-board memory. GPU memory is required to load up complex visual datasets, including textures and demand for more GPU memory is growing exponentially across the board. A 16GB GPU frame buffer provides an effective capacity for advanced rendering, available on virtually every ThinkPad P series mobile workstation and ThinkStation P3 Ultra. For the most advanced workflows, scaling up the NVIDIA RTX Ada Generation portfolio is possible through the desktop and mobile workstation portfolio, including support for multiple RTX 6000 Ada Generation GPUs that make digital twins and spatial computing use cases a reality.

“AI is poised to transform the AECO industry with the promise of eliminating tedious processes and boosting productivity,” said Sean Young, Director of AECO, Geospatial, and AI Solutions Industry Marketing at NVIDIA. “A Lenovo AI workstation with NVIDIA RTX professional graphics is a great starting point for any generative AI development journey.”

Attending NXT BLD? Stop by the Lenovo Booth!

As a principal sponsor, Lenovo will be attending NXT BLD on June 25th in London and will be showcasing two exciting demos on Stand #9 of the main show floor.

First, to help organizations address the pressing need for innovation to optimize 3D CAD, CAM, CAE and BIM workflows, we will be demoing the Lenovo ThinkStation P3 Ultra SFF rack solution. The demo will highlight the power and cost-effectiveness of combining seven ThinkStation P3 Ultras into one rack-able solution to create a high-performance Private Cloud.  With this solution, AI deployment time is reduced from weeks to minutes.

Second, to help customers struggling to adopt the real-world use cases and benefits of digital twins with spatial computing due to complex layers of computer hardware and software, we will also be showcasing the Lenovo ThinkStation Spatial Computing Solution. Powered by the Lenovo ThinkStation PX  and ThinkReality VRX headsets (HMDs), this cutting-edge solution offers everything organizations need to deploy end-to-end immersive environments for enterprise, perfect for design review, enterprise metaverse, and location-based environments.

If you are attending NXT BLD, we’d love to see you!

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