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Tuesday, November 14, 2006
AMD Uses Graphics Processor For High-performance Computing Applications


At the Supercomputing 2006 show on Thusday, AMD introduced the stream processor, the first dedicated processor designed to meet the specific hardware demands of high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

AMD's Stream Processor is based on the ATI radeon X1900 chip, already known as a gaming GPU. AMD said that it has engineered the chip specifically for compute-only systems such as workstations and servers. The AMD Stream Processor makes use of AMD?s new thin hardware interface called CTM (for Close to Metal) to drive performance gains in areas such as financial analysis, seismic migration analysis, and life sciences research, among others.

Stream computing leverages parallel processors generally used to calculate and render millions of pixels onto computer monitors, hundreds of times each second for 3D graphics applications. Stream computing uses that processing power for a wide range of scientific, business and consumer computing applications, providing organizations the ability to process incredible amounts of information in significantly less time. The AMD Stream Processor is the first hardware of its kind dedicated to addressing stream computing problems in the enterprise space.

The AMD Stream Processor is a PCI Express-based add-in board designed with higher memory densities than any consumer graphics card ? a full 1 GB of GDDR3 memory for stream computing applications. The processor also features HPC-optimized memory performance designed to best handle unique stream computing problem sets. The AMD Stream Processor also includes broad operating system support for server implementations; full-service, enterprise-class technical support; and a limited three-year warranty. The AMD Stream Processor is available now from distributors.

"AMD stream computing represents a bold, new direction for high performance computing," said Tom Barton, CEO of Rackable Systems. "By leveraging the AMD Stream Processor, Rackable Systems will be able to deliver a new class of stream servers in familiar form factors that maximize performance and reduce costs. We are excited by the prospects of using stream computing to create application-specific platforms that offer improved price/performance."

AMD also today announced that software developers can use a new thin hardware interface known as CTM (for "Close To Metal") to increase processing application performance by as much as eightfold more than traditional 3D application programming interfaces (APIs).

CTM gives developers access to the native instruction set and memory of the parallel computational elements in AMD Stream Processors.

CTM is available to developers to license today at no cost. For more information visit http://ati.amd.com/companyinfo/researcher/resources.html.


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