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Thursday, November 13, 2008
Next Version of AMD's Catalyst Drivers (v8.12) to Support ATI Stream acceleration Capabilities

AMD is set to release a free software giving Set to Release ATI Radeon owners a new way to run demanding computing tasks faster.

The company plans to release for download a free ATI Catalyst driver update that instantly unlocks new ATI Stream acceleration capabilities already built into ATI Radeon graphics cards.

ATI Stream is a set of hardware and software technologies that enable AMD graphics processors (GPU), working in concert with the system?s central processor (CPU), to accelerate applications beyond just graphics.

ATI Stream-enabled software titles for entertainment, gaming and productivity are being released or are under development by independent software vendors (ISVs) including ArcSoft and CyberLink.

To give users immediate benefit from ATI Stream, AMD also plans to release in December a free downloadable version of its ATI Avivo Video Converter utility. According to AMD, this application enables transcoding of HD video up to 17 times faster than with the CPU alone, in tests performed using an ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card.

"ATI Stream is one of the best examples of the power of Fusion, and today?s announcement is the first major step in taking this important new technology mainstream," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. "For the millions of people that have already purchased an ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card, this is one more way we?re saying thank you and helping them get more out of their investment. For those who haven?t yet, it?s one more reason for them to go online right now and buy one."

The next ATI Catalyst release is version 8.12. AMD has begun distributing a beta version to its hardware and software technology partners for testing, with the final version scheduled to be released for download on or around December 10.

Once installed, the driver package automatically turns on the ATI Stream acceleration capabilities within ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics cards. This will have the immediate effect of allowing any ATI Stream-enabled application to run faster.

Users can then download and install the free ATI Avivo Video Converter. In tests performed using this utility, AMD was able to convert an hour of video to a portable player format in about 12 minutes. Combined with one of the recent ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card offerings, the ATI Avivo Video Converter helps deliver video conversion at up to twice the speed of competing solutions, at just over half of the suggested retail price.

ArcSoft plans to provide an update in December to its TotalMedia Theatre application that will includes ArcSoft SimHD, a new type of post processing technology that allows consumers to experience close-to-HD viewing of standard definition content.

CyberLink has also optimized its video editing software, PowerDirector 7. PowerDirector provides a set of features and functionality for capturing, editing and distributing HD video. The updated version, which is scheduled to be released in Q1 2009 will include ATI Stream accelerated video conversion, featuring performance and functionality exceeding that of the Avivo Video Converter.

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