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AMD Launches the Radeon HD 7700 Series

AMD has just launched the new Radeon HD 7700 series, in a bid to cement its competitiveness in the sub-$200 market-segment. The Radeon HD 7700 series, according to AMD, is designed to offer "the world's most advanced graphics for everyone." The series is based around a new ASIC built on the 28 nm fab process, codenamed "Cape Verde". The new chip takes advantage of the Graphics CoreNext architecture, and features 10 GCN compute units, amounting to 640 stream processors; 40 TMUs, and 16 ROPs; and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface.

The Radeon HD 7770 has all components on the chip enabled, and features clock speeds of 1000 MHz core, and 1125 MHz (4.50 GHz GDDR5 effective) memory, yielding 72 GB/s memory bandwidth. This card draws power from a 6-pin PCIe power connecor. The Radeon HD 7750, on the other hand, features 512 stream processors, and 32 TMUs. The rest of the specifications are identical to the HD 7770, except core clock speed: 800 MHz. The Radeon HD 7770 is priced at US $159, while the HD 7750 is available as low as $109.

AMD Intros Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 2

AMD released its latest Catalyst Application Profile update for AMD Catalyst, version 12.1 CAP 2, as it's called, adds application-specific CrossfireX optimizations to the driver, which lets the driver effectively use two or more AMD Radeon GPUs working in tandem optimally. It also fixes any bugs that exist with current optimizations. 12.1 CAP 2 includes profiles for the following applications:
  • Star Wars: The old republic : Improves CrossFire performance and resolves flickering seen on Map
  • Unigine Tropics – Resolves flashing shadow reflections with CrossFire enabled
  • Wargame: European Escalation: Improves CrossFire performance
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 2

Lenovo Debuts the IdeaPad Y470p 14-inch Laptop

A quick glance over Lenovo's web shop will confirm the availability of a new IdeaPad laptop, a model called Y470p which features a 14-inch (1366 x 768) LED-backlit display, a 2.2 GHz Core i7-2670QM processor, 8 GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 7690 1GB discrete graphics card, a 750 GB hard drive, and a DVD writer.

Lenovo's mobile PC also has JBL stereo speakers, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 2.0 megapixel webcam, a HDMI output, and a 6-cell battery. The IdeaPad Y470p is backed by a one-year warranty and costs as low as $799 (thanks to a special offer).

Source: The Verge

AMD Also Delivers the Catalyst 12.2 Preview driver

In addition to releasing the Catalyst 12.1 suite, AMD has today rolled out another graphics driver, a preview version of the Catalyst 12.2 which is set to come in WHQL-tagged form next month. Recommended for 'gamers', this preview release includes all the updates of Catalyst 12.1 as well as the following:

- AMD Eyefinity 2.1 technology enhancements
- Additional resolution support: Users can now choose from a larger set of resolutions when running AMD Eyefinity
- Dynamic Configuration Changes: Switching between different display configurations will occur automatically when physically plugging/un-plugging displays
- HydraVision enhancements: The Windows Task bar can now be moved and resized based on users preference
- Profile Manager improvements: Increased support for Display Groups (including 5x1) and Extended configurations within the Profile Manager

The Catalyst 12.2 Preview Driver can be downloaded (for Windows 7 and Vista) from this page (Radeon HD 7970 users need not click, this driver doesn't support their card).

AMD Releases Catalyst 12.1 Drivers

AMD has now made available the first WHQL-certified graphics drivers of 2012, the Catalyst 12.1. This release includes support for Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000 and HD 6000 series desktops (and mobile) cards (but not the HD 7970), for Radeon 3000 and HD 4000 chipsets, and features the following:

AMD HD3D technology support enhancement

- Enables support for AMD HD3D technology in conjunction with AMD CrossFireX configurations
- Delivers a new Stereo 3D mode over HDMI 1.4a connections - 1080p at 30Hz is now enabled on supported displays

To download the Catalyst 12.1 WHQL drivers just see these links: Windows 7/Vista 32-bit / Windows 7/Vista 64-bit / Windows XP 32-bit / Windows XP 64-bit

NVIDIA Taunts AMD's GCN Architecture Performance

As AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series is finding ground in the market, and NVIDIA's competitive product line still without a concrete launch schedule, the mind games have begun. In an interview to NordicHardware, a senior NVIDIA official said that NVIDIA expected more from AMD's new GPU family. "Honestly, we expected more from our competitor’s new architecture," the official said, indicating two interrelated things:
  • AMD's Southern Islands GPU family's performance levels are well within NVIDIA's expectations
  • NVIDIA's new architecture will be a lot more powerful than Southern Islands, because it was prepared keeping in mind a faster architecture from AMD than what Southern Islands ended up being
This latest comment could even release some pressure off NVIDIA to rush in a competitive product line.Source: NordicHardware

PowerVR Making a Comeback to PC as Discrete GPGPU, Real-Time Ray-Tracing in 2012

Remember PowerVR GPUs which last saw light when GeForce 3 and Radeon 8500 were around? The company behind it, Imagination Technologies, is working on a discrete PCI-Express GPGPU card for workstations targeting the media industry, which provides real-time ray-tracing acceleration. After its exile from PC graphics, Imagination Technologies worked on and achieved prevalence in embedded GPUs, GPUs embedded into ARM System-on-chips (SoCs), found in smartphones and tablets. This kept its GPU IP and R&D more than afloat.

In 2011, the company acquired Caustic Graphics, a smaller and much newer startup, which was working on dedicated ray-tracing accelerators, and had come up with a working FCPGA chip. Together the company is in the final stages of preparing a product that will bring Imagination Technologies back to the PC, only this time as a GPGPU (such as NVIDIA Tesla and AMD FireStream), and not a display-GPU. The product will be backed by OpenRL Brazil 3.0 SDK. This product will launch some time in 2012.Source: VR-Zone

ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCu II Graphics Card Pictured

Here are the first pictures of ASUS' premium DirectCu II graphics card designed around AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GPU. The design is based on giving the GPU a powerful cooling solution, backed by a custom-design PCB. Since its cooling solution spans across three expansion slots, one of the three expansion slot brackets is productively used to provide additional display connectivity. To begin with, the PCB uses a 10+1+1 ASUS Digi+ VRM that draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. It supports heavy overclocking, and provides several voltage tuning features.

A common metal heatsink spans along the length of the card, making contact with VRM and memory components. On top of this sits the DirectCu II heatsink. This heatsink uses a large aluminum fin-stack heatsink to which heat from the GPU is conveyed by six heat-pipes, which make direct contact with it. The heatsink itself isn't very thick, but what makes the card span across three slots are its two 100 mm fans. The GPU is clocked out of the box at 1000 MHz (vs. 925 MHz reference), and 5.60 GHz/1400 MHz actual memory (vs. 5.50 GHz/1375 MHz actual reference).

AMD Lightning Bolt is USB 3.0 Over DisplayPort

AMD's competitive technology to Intel Thunderbolt, called "Lightning Bolt" (codename, marketing name may differ), surfaced at CES, where AMD was showing off its upcoming "Trinity" accelerated processing units. The technology was dissected by Anandtech, revealing exactly how AMD plans to achieve its goal of providing a much lower-cost alternative to Thunderbolt, over a similar-looking interface. While Thunderbolt is essentially PCI-Express x4 over DisplayPort, Lightning Bolt is the much more mature USB 3.0 SuperSpeed over DisplayPort. It is a single cable that combines a USB 3.0 with DisplayPort (display), and power (sourced directly from the PSU).

The part that makes it affordable is that AMD has already mastered GPU technologies that allow several displays connected to its GPUs using DisplayPort daisy-chaining; while USB 3.0 controllers are getting cheaper by the quarter. Connections of DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and power converge at a Lightning Bolt multiplex, from which the actual ports emerge. Lightning Bolt will stick to established mini-DisplayPort specifications.

AMD to Release 28 nm Mobile GPUs in Q2

This week the desktop space has officially entered the 28 nm GPU era thanks to the retail release of the Radeon HD 7970. It's a significant milestone for the discrete graphics market and for AMD, but it's only the beginning as the Sunnyvale-based company is currently preparing the arrival of the Radeon HD 7950 and is planning the introduction of the first 28 nm mobile chips.

While the HD 7950 will debut this quarter, the 28 nm GPUs for notebooks will have to wait a little longer, until Q2. The upcoming mobile parts are of course based on the GCN architecture and will bring DirectX 11.1 support, as well as power, image quality and display output enhancements.

The 28 nm mobile cards will (most) likely be added to the recently-introduced Radeon HD 7000M family which also includes multiple 40 nm-based cards (7600M, 7500M, 7400M, 7300M). Look for 28 nm models to be branded Radeon HD 7700M and higher.

Source: ComputerBase
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