Advanced Micro Devices late on Tuesday rather quietly announced its new Radeon Sky series graphics cards aimed at cloud datacenters that power video games played remotely on various devices, such as low-end PCs or TVs. The company did not reveal when it plans to start shipping the new Radeon Sky graphics cards and when its partners will actually deploy them.
AMD formally introduced three Radeon Sky graphics cards: model 900 with two Tahiti Pro (Radeon HD 7950) graphics processors, model 700 with one Tahiti Pro chip and the model 500 utilizing Pitcairn XT (Radeon HD 7870) graphics processing unit. Each AMD Radeon Sky-series are capable of supporting up to six HD game streams at once (tested on single-chip Radeon Sky 700, potentially, the model 900 should be more capable) and are designed to support a wide range of servers systems.
Besides graphics processors based on GCN [graphics core next] architecture, the Radeon Sky graphics boards for cloud gaming datacenters are also powered by yet unknown RapidFire technology. AMD RapidFire technology is a combination of hardware and software that enables cloud gaming partners to benefit from an open API that simplifies the manipulation of key hardware controls to provide HD visual quality, minimal latency and optimal network bandwidth resulting in a compelling and responsive gaming experience from any device over the internet. In line with AMD’s commitment to industry standard APIs, like OpenCL, DirectX and OpenGL, an industry standard API for cloud gaming can help to align the industry around one platform and drive continued innovations that benefit the industry at large.
With AMD RapidFire technology, AMD is also building in support for direct access to AMD Radeon Sky GPUs from virtual machines created by leading hypervisors including VMware ESX/ESXi and Citrix XenServer, providing greater density and more simultaneous game streams from a single server.
AMD is collaborating with CiiNow, G-Cluster Global and Otoy cloud gaming service providers to bring to market exceptional cloud gaming experiences for occasional and advanced gamers alike. Unfortunately, during its announcement at Game Developers Conference 2013 the company did not reveal a single detail about the Radeon Sky business initiative and limited its message to a technology sneak peak.