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NVIDIA Rolls Out its First OpenCL GPU Drivers

In the tussle between its own CUDA GPGPU standard and the OpenCL, NVIDIA is making the right moves by offering its first drivers for OpenCL GPGPU acceleration. The drivers are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Any CUDA-capable NVIDIA GPU will be able to use these. The drivers can be downloaded from here, which provide compliance with OpenCL 1.0.

NVIDIA has also released the OpenCL Visual Profiler software that helps developers improve their code by recognizing possible bottlenecks and room for improvements. At a higher level, it profiles actual hardware signals, kernel efficiency, and instruction issue rate; memory latencies; auto-analysis to point of serialization problems, among other things. More information on this can be found here.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

MSI Introduces the R5870 and R5850 Series Graphics Cards

As top computer gamers are demanding only the very best hardware, all manufacturers in the industry are constantly striving for the efficiency and performance to fulfill these needs. In order to adequately cater to these ever increasing performance demands, now MSI, leading graphics cards and mainboard manufacturer has joined forces with the renowned graphics chip manufacturer AMD and today officially launch the next generation MSI R5800 series graphics cards. The 40 nm GPU supports DirectX 11 and a variety of AMD-exclusive audiovisual and performance enhancing technologies, creating an entirely new series of performance oriented craftsmanship.

The brand new MSI R5870/R5850 series uses more advanced 40nm GPU to implement decisively more transistors within the same amount of space and thereby reaching a new level of performance. In addition the modern 40nm process reduces power consumption and brings about a more efficient overall electrical utilization. By using the advantages of this innovative 40nm process technology, the next generation MSI R5870/R5850 series offers outstanding performance of a new kind.

AMD Changes the Game with ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series, Harnessing the Most Powerful GPU

AMD today launched the most powerful processor ever created, found in its next-generation graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics cards, and the world’s first and only to fully support Microsoft DirectX 11, the new gaming and compute standard shipping shortly with Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Boasting up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS of compute power, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series effectively doubles the value consumers can expect of their graphics purchases, delivering twice the performance-per-dollar of previous generations of graphics products. AMD will initially release two cards: the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and the ATI Radeon HD 5850, each with 1GB GDDR5 memory. With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards, PC users can expand their computing experience with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology, accelerate their computing experience with ATI Stream technology, and dominate the competition with superior gaming performance and full support of Microsoft DirectX 11, making it a “must-have” consumer purchase just in time for Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

“With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cars driven by the most powerful processor on the planet, AMD is changing the game, both in terms of performance and the experience,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Products Group, AMD. “As the first to market with full DirectX 11 support, an unmatched experience made possible with ATI Eyefinity technology, and ATI Stream technology harnessing open standards designed to help make Windows 7 that much better, I can say with confidence that AMD is the undisputed leader in graphics once more.”

DirectX 11 Won't Define GPU Sales: NVIDIA

"DirectX 11 by itself is not going be the defining reason to buy a new GPU. It will be one of the reasons." This coming from the same company that a few years ago said that there was every reason to opt for a DirectX 10 compliant graphics card, to complete the Windows Vista experience, at a time when it was the first and only company to be out with compliant hardware. In the wake of rival AMD's ambitious Evergreen family of DirectX 11 compliant graphics cards being released, NVIDIA made it a point to tell the press that the development shouldn't really change anything in the industry.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference, NVIDIA's VP of investor relations said “DirectX 11 by itself is not going be the defining reason to buy a new GPU. It will be one of the reasons. This is why Microsoft is in work with the industry to allow more freedom and more creativity in how you build content, which is always good, and the new features in DirectX 11 are going to allow people to do that. But that no longer is the only reason, we believe, consumers would want to invest in a GPU.”

AMD Lists Out Cypress Technologies, Tentative Branding?

In a release to its AIB partners, AMD listed out the key features of its high performance GPU in the Evergreen family, codenamed "Cypress". While not getting into the GPU specifications, it lists out the key technologies the GPUs support. It comes as no surprise that AMD will name Cypress-XT and Cypress-Pro as Radeon HD 5870 and Radeon HD 5850, a model number scheme that's been running for the past two generations. While product launches, tentatively on September 22, and (p)reviews keep us busy in September, retail availability can be expected only in October, just in time for that of Windows 7.
  • 1GB GDDR5 memory
  • ATI Eyefinity technology with support for up to three displays
  • ATI Stream technology
  • Designed for DirectCompute 5.0 and OpenCL
  • Accelerated Video Transcoding (AVT)
  • Compliant with DirectX 11 and earlier revisions,supports OpenGL 3.1
  • ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU support for highly scalable performance
  • ATI Avivo HD video and display technology
  • Dynamic power management with ATI PowerPlay technology
  • 2x DL-DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI
  • PCI Express 2.0 interface

NVIDIA Releases OpenCL Driver To Developers

NVIDIA Corporation, the inventor of the GPU, today announced the release of its OpenCL driver and software development kit (SDK) to developers participating in its OpenCL Early Access Program. NVIDIA is providing this release to solicit early feedback in advance of a beta release which will be made available to all GPU Computing Registered Developers in the coming months.

“The OpenCL standard was developed on NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA was the first company to demonstrate OpenCL code running on a GPU,” said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of technology and content at NVIDIA. “Being the first to release an OpenCL driver to developers cements NVIDIA’s leadership in GPU Computing and is another key milestone in our ongoing strategy to make the GPU the soul of the modern PC.”

NVIDIA Introduces Industry's First Debugger and Profiler For GPU Computing

The CUDA architecture continues to blaze a trail as the leading platform for developing and running GPU Computing applications, with support for C, OpenCL, DirectX Compute, Fortran and other languages and APIs. The latest CUDA 2.2 Beta contains a host of significant new features, including:

Hardware debugger for the GPU
Linux developers can now use a debugger on CUDA-enabled GPUs that offers both the familiar interface of the popular open-source GDB debugger and the ability to debug kernels as they execute on the GPU. The GPU-side debugger has all the features that developers expect from GDB, including the ability to have breakpoints, watch variables, inspect state, etc., as well as additional functions for CUDA-specific features.

AMD Demonstrates Optimized Executions of Havok Middleware on AMD platforms

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and Havok, the premier provider of interactive software for physics simulation and content development, are presenting new, optimized executions of Havok’s physics middleware on AMD platforms at the 2009 Game Developers Conference. The demonstrations include the first OpenCL supported execution of Havok Cloth.

Havok offers a complete modular suite of products that help visual and interactive content developers create more realistic games and cinematic special effects. As the latest software developer to take advantage of ATI Stream technology to leverage multi-core architectures and accelerate execution of highly parallel functions, like real-time cloth simulation, Havok will enable game developers to offer improved performance and interactivity across a broad range of OpenCL capable PCs. AMD has recently introduced optimized platform technologies, such as “Dragon” desktop platform technology, which balance performance between the CPU and GPU with ATI Stream technology to deliver outstanding value.

Sapphire Announces AMD FireStream 9270

Sapphire, the single largest add-in board partner for AMD, announced its FireStream 9270 GPGPU accelerator. Devices of this class exploit the general purpose computing capabilities of graphics processors, back them with a software architecture, and a programming environment to make for a dedicated number-crunching machine that holds rated computational power much higher than that of CPUs. Product lines in this class includes the AMD FireStream, that finds competition in NVIDIA's Tesla.

The appearance of the FireStream 9270 suggests it has been derived from the ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics accelerator, albeit different clock speeds, different drivers, four times the amount of memory, and connections. The core features 800 stream cores that churn out peak computational power of 1.2 TFLOPs (single precision floating-point) and 240 GFLOPs (double precision floating-point). The floating point format is in adherence to IEEE standards. It features 2 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 850 MHz, with a peak bandwidth of 108.8 GB/s. The FireStream 9270 is backed by AMD's Stream 1.3 SDK that can be currently downloaded for free. It supports OpenCL in Microsoft Windows and Linux environments. The accelerator will be released by Sapphire towards the end of February, at a price of $1499. Additionally, AMD is teaming up with server-builder Aprius to release a 4U rack chassis system that holds as many as eight FireStream 9270 accelerators that churn out a theoretical max computational power of 9.6 TFLOPs.

Source: GPU Café

PhysX will Die, Says AMD

In an interview with Godfrey Cheng, Director of Technical Marketing in AMD's Graphics Products Group, has quoted him saying that standards such as PhysX would die due to their proprietary and closed nature. Says Mr. Cheng:
"There is no plan for closed and proprietary standards like PhysX," said Cheng. "As we have emphasised with our support for OpenCL and DX11, closed and proprietary standards will die." interviewed the AMD person to get the company's take on EA and 2K's decision to adopt NVIDIA PhysX across all of their worldwide studios, earlier this week. Interestingly, when asked about how the major publishers such as EA adopting PhysX across all of their studios would impact the propagation of the API, Cheng responded with saying that monetary incentives provided to publishing houses alone won't help a great deal in propagating the API, and that the product (PhysX) must be competitive, and that AMD viewed Havoc and its physics simulation technologies as leaders. "Games developers share this view. We will also invest in technologies and partnerships beyond Havok that enhances gameplay." he added. PhysX is a proprietary physics simulation API created by Ageia technologies, which was acquired and developed by NVIDIA. You can read the full interview with Godfrey Cheng here.
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