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ATI Gears Up for ATI Multi-Rendering Launch

ATI is not announcing its multi visual processing unit (VPU) technology at CeBIT, but it seems that the company has proceeded significantly with its technology that is going to compete with NVIDIA’s Multi-GPU Scalable Link Interface (SLI).

Particularly ASUSTeK shows off a mainboard based on ATI’s RADEON XPRESS 200-series chipset with two PCI Express x16 slots on it. Some unofficial sources said the design of the platform is co-developed by ASUS and ATI. The latter is reportedly promoting the idea among other mainboard makers, thus, we should consider this type of ATI Multi-Rendering (AMR) platform as a reference design. Still, the AMR is projected to operate pretty fine on mainboards featuring NVIDIA’s nForce 4 SLI, VIA’s or Intel’s chipsets.

Not much information is available about the product though, despite of its demonstration. It is unknown how the dual PCI Express x16 slots are implemented, but there is a rumour that the firm has two physical and electrical PCI Express x16 slots.

ATI does not reveal the Multi-VPU concepts to the general public, but for its add-in card partners it has posted a brief overview of its technology in its roadmap update. At least for now there is one important update from what was previously reported – ATI wants two identical graphics cards to be installed, not two different boards as said before based on information from unofficial sources. Here is what ATI says to its partners:

  • Multiple ATI RADEON X800 XT boards cooperatively rendering a single frame;
  • Requires two physical x16 connectors on the mainboard;
  • Load balancing and synchronization implemented entirely in software;
  • No physical connector requires between devices;
  • Currently assumes two identical graphics devices installed in both connectors;
  • Offers several user selectable modes of multi-processing;
  • Works with any PCIe north bridge.
 
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