Advanced Micro Devices has announced its new stream processor, a special card based on a next-generation graphics processing unit (GPU), that is based on the new ATI Radeon HD 3000-series technology and features double-precision floating point computing. In addition, the chipmaker plans to release a software development kit (SDK) for those interested in development for the new FireStream product.
“With a broad range of customer engagements underway, notably customers in the oil and gas, financial and engineering analysis industries, AMD is delivering on its vision of Accelerated Computing with breakthrough benefits for our enterprise customers. Leveraging the immense graphics processing capabilities acquired from ATI and the HPC domain expertise of AMD, we are developing strong relationships with system vendors and the supporting technology eco-system to deliver processing innovation through an open platforms approach,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, graphics products, AMD.
The new AMD FireStream 9170 card is based on the code-named ATI RV670 graphics chip with 320 unified stream processors operating at roughly 700MHz and features 2GB of GDDR3 memory onboard. According to AMD, the new board features 500GFLOPS of compute power while consuming “less than 150W”. The product will be available in Q1 2008 for $1999.
“GPUs have long been known for their immense parallel processing performance but many challenges still remain in driving widespread customer adoption for general purpose compute,” said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. “Leveraging its unique capabilities in high-performance CPU and GPU technologies, AMD is well positioned to drive an integrated hardware and software proposition that can deliver the best of both processing worlds to its HPC customers.”
The AMD FireStream SDK is designed to deliver the tools developers need to create and optimize applications on AMD Stream processors. Built using an open platforms approach, the AMD FireStream SDK allows developers to access key application programming interfaces (APIs) and specifications, enabling performance tuning at the lowest level and development of third party tools.
Building on AMD’s Close to the Metal (CTM) interface introduced in 2006, the Compute Abstraction Layer (CAL) provides low-level access to the GPU for development and performance tuning along with forward compatibility to future GPUs. For high-level development, AMD is announcing Brook+, a tool providing C extensions for stream computing based on the Brook project from Stanford University. In addition, AMD also plans to support the AMD Core Math Library (ACML) to provide GPU-accelerated math1 functions, and the COBRA video library accelerates video transcode. Also available are third-party tools from top industry partners including RapidMind and Microsoft.
In addition, AMD is now a charter participant in HP’s new HPC Accelerator Program, offering HP customers best practices and guidance for these technologies, and ensuring that accelerator hardware and software is qualified for HP servers running HPC applications.