Each year, SPEC recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions.
In 2022, Brian Bothwell was involved in an initiative that had a significant impact on all three Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (GWPG) committees. He architected and championed a unified GUI framework that created a consistent user interface for all GWPG benchmarks, as well as provide a new release control and software development model. This major initiative will significantly accelerate benchmark development, increase benchmark ease-of-use and ease-of-installation, and further SPEC’s reputation for professionalism among the user community. This framework, under which all new GWPG benchmarks will be developed, was first rolled out in the SPECapc for Solidworks 2022 benchmark. Brian contributed hundreds of hours of his time to the effort. His flexibility and wisdom led him to take an iterative approach that allows for faster progress on interim releases. Brian was a true workhorse in both troubleshooting issues and contributing ideas related to increasing simplicity.
The release of the SPECviewperf 2020 v3.0 Linux Edition benchmark would not have happened without Ross Cunniff’s tireless efforts. He identified the need for the benchmark, led the project, and pushed it through to completion, pulling in resources to get the job done. Ross brings a deep understanding of the workstation market, who the users are, what their challenges are, and why a Linux version is important to both users and vendors. He also understood that creating a Linux version of the benchmark would increase the number of vendors and businesses depending on the industry standard workstation graphics benchmark and expanding the reach and prestige of SPEC as an organization. His value to SPEC extends well beyond his input on SPECviewperf. Ross served as a founding Board member for the MLCommons benchmark consortium and brings a broad industry perspective to SPEC. As the chair of the SPECgpc Committee, Ross is highly involved, supporting other Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (GWPG) committees and contributing to the development and refinement of GWPG policies to increase GWPG’s resilience and professionalism.
The SPECapc for Maya 2023 benchmark introduces a significant new animation feature as part of its workload, which allows some, or all, of its data to be cached, potentially requiring tremendous amounts of hardware resources. Pallavi Mehrotra, Erik Niemeyer and Ravi Jagannadhan conducted extensive testing and troubleshooting to determine the hardware requirements and configurations needed to ensure the feature would function correctly, which is key for both vendors and users to understand. Without their work, the Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (GWPG) would not have been able to include this important new feature in the benchmark.
Pallavi and Erik suggested the workload to use as an example of animation caching, and they worked through issues with variability. Ravi drew on his application expertise to understand how Maya users use this feature and why. The trio also focused on determining the correct name for the benchmark metric for ease in understanding what it was and its relevance. To pull off this monumental task, they collaborated together despite working for different companies, with Autodesk and Allen Jensen, SPECapc Vice Chair, the lead benchmark developer.
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