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ATI, graphics product group of Advanced Micro Devices, on Monday unveiled the world’s first professional graphics accelerator with DisplayPort interconnection. The new graphics card will allow AMD to offer DisplayPort connection on the professional market and also enable certain proprietary-design professional and medical applications.

ATI FireGL V7700 professional graphics accelerator is based on ATI RV670 graphics processing unit with 320 unified shader processors and is positioned for Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC) and Medical Imaging professionals. The graphics card carries 512MB of memory onboard and is not the top-of-the-range ATI FireGL offering from AMD. The main advantages that the new graphics card has compared to predecessors is DisplayPort and PCI Express 2.0 support, which may be important for certain applications.

“The balanced power of the ATI FireGL product line has the accuracy and speed needed for medical imaging applications like mammography screening. For example, Mammography viewing uses 10-bit precision to help deliver the most information to the eye of the radiologist, and increasingly other medical applications will rely on 10-bit gray and 30-bit color rendering. With the additional speed offered by the PCI Express 2.0 interface, very large data sets are handled smoothly, saving time for busy medical staff,” explained Albert Xthona, product manager for Digital Mammography at Barco.

It should be noted that ATI FireGL V7700 does not support resolutions higher than 2560x1600 via its DisplayPort interconnection, which is a drawback for next-generation monitors for medical use that will have resolution higher than that.

The ATI FireGL V7700 3D workstation graphics accelerator card is expected to begin shipping in April 2008 and will be available from system integrators and AMD channel partners worldwide. The manufacturer suggested retail price of the device is $1099

The DisplayPort is designed to enable a common interface approach across both internal and external display connections. Internal connections include display interfaces within a notebook PC or within an LCD display. External display connections include the interface between a source device such as a desktop PC, set-top box, DVD player or game console, and a display device such as a direct view flat panel or projection display for viewing video and graphics. The DisplayPort standard will also include an optional digital audio capability allowing streaming of high definition digital audio-video content over the interface, and provides performance scalability to enable the next generation of displays featuring higher color depths, refresh rates, and display resolutions.

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