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The Story


How DreamWorks Animation is bringing bigger, bolder ideas to life with Lenovo Neptune™ and High-Performance Computing solutions.

Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions for The Data‑Centered

The Story

DreamWorks Animation is the force behind animated masterpieces like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls, The Croods, and The Boss Baby. Every film they create is an evolution of those that came before it — pushing the boundaries of what’s visually possible by pushing the technology that brings it to life.

Every single element in a CG animated film is computer-generated and artist-created – geometrically modeled, animated, surfaced, textured, and simulated according to the properties of real-life physics.

The making of a CG animated film requires an incredible amount of data, and the best-available high performance compute (HPC) capabilities.

Explore HPC Solutions

See how DreamWorks engineers and animators push the boundaries of what’s possible with their HPC infrastructure.



DreamWorks’ data center was already running at capacity — both from a real estate perspective, and when it came to power and cooling. In order to meet a demand for content creation while continuing to raise the bar of on-screen visual fidelity, the animation studio sought advances in new technology, greater efficiency, and increased density to support their growing business and creative ambitions. They needed powerful innovation today, with the ability to scale and continue advancing tomorrow.

DreamWorks chose to partner with Lenovo because of our customer support, expertise in navigating IT complexity, future-proof technology, and control over our supply chain. Together, we built an on-premises HPC infrastructure that has seen advances in scalability and efficiency. And we did it during a global pandemic.

The Result

Together, by bringing powerful HPC solutions with Neptune liquid-based cooling technology into their data center, DreamWorks’ technology can keep pace with their creative innovation.

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Increased compute
capabilities by 20%

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Future‑proofed high‑performance computing systems

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Reduced cooling costs by using water returned from existing sources


liquid cooling

With Lenovo Neptune direct-to-node liquid-based cooling technology, DreamWorks can truly unleash the superpowers of their award-winning MoonRay renderer and Arras cloud computation systems, enabling robust interactive rendering for near-real-time artist feedback.

Neptune utilizes warm water, direct through customs and overheat sinks on the motherboards to efficiently extract heat from the compute systems and circulate it through the building’s cooling system. This direct-to-node cooling technology enables peak processing performance at all times, ensuring there is no trade-off between performance, energy efficiency and cost savings.


How it works

Direct to Node (DTN) Warm Water Cooling

Thermal Transfer Module (TTM)

By using water piped directly into the system unit to cool components, instead of using system fans and chilled air, Lenovo’s ThinkSystem SD650 can remove heat (up to 50⁰C) from the CPUs, memory, IO, local storage, and voltage regulators.

  • Allows critical server components to operate at lower temperatures compared to standard air‑cooled systems
  • Enables DreamWorks to run Xeon® Scalable processors up to 240W+ versus the traditional air-cooled systems limit to 165W
  • Delivers greater performance with lower data power consumption

These integrate a hermetically sealed liquid-filled heat pipe inside a traditional heat sink, and are deployed in our air-cooled ThinkSystem SD650 to allow higher wattage CPUs.

  • Transfers heat away from the CPU into an area with more space to disperse heat
  • Allows for higher wattage CPUs with more cores/ computational power (205W)
  • Keeps fan speeds modest for lower acoustic modes
Dreamworks - The Bad Guys

DreamWorks hasn’t just upgraded their data center. They’ve future-proofed it.

With the aid of increased processing speeds, and amount of cores in their existing data center footprint, creative and production teams at DreamWorks are iterating more frequently, adding more complexity and richness to every aspect of every film, and making decisions faster. And the engineers are able to work with the artists and provide them with the tools they need to create their vision.

So they can continue to improve their bottom line and realize their imaginations in ways they’ve never done before.


What can you make possible with Lenovo Analytics & AI?

Go from data center to Data-Centered with Lenovo Analytics and AI solutions. We take a customer-centric approach to provide proven, ready-to-deploy solutions to realize your AI transformation and unleash the power of your data.

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  • The DreamWorks Story
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