AMD Focuses the Power of Fusion to Address the Toughest, Most Compute-Intensive Research Challenges

November 13, 2008 // 4:05 p.m.

Companies: #amd

− New hardware and software, plus strong collaboration with Aprius, HP and others demonstrates continued efforts to bring supercomputing-class processing to organizations at a fraction of typical cost and power requirements −

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Nov. 13, 2008 — AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the new AMD FireStream™ 9270 compute accelerator and the latest version of its free and open ATI Stream Software Development Kit (SDK), version 1.3. Both are designed to help researchers, technical professionals and IT organizations use mainstream computing platforms to address challenges that once would have required multi-million-dollar investments in proprietary hardware and software.

Today’s announcements also advance the company’s corporate brand and strategy, called Fusion, by further enabling AMD graphics processors (GPUs) to work in concert with CPUs to deliver balanced platforms capable of increasing performance, energy-efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

“The demands of the high-performance datacenter are intense, with dramatic increases in problem complexity and size every year. Customers need to achieve ever higher performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar in order to address these problems with the same infrastructures. The AMD FireStream 9270 compute accelerator was designed to address all of these concerns and more,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “Delivering two times the double-precision floating point performance of competing offerings, and armed with 2GB of ultra-fast, ultra-high bandwidth memory, the AMD FireStream 9270 is the ideal solution for dramatically accelerating technical applications.”¹

The AMD FireStream 9270 delivers supercomputing-class performance, deployable in a wide variety of server and workstation configurations. It has a typical board power requirement of only 160 watts, yet provides over 1.2 teraFLOPS of single-point precision performance — the most available in a single-GPU solution today — and over 240 gigaFLOPS of double-point precision performance.¹ It includes two gigabytes of Graphics Double Data Rate, version 5 memory (GDDR5) for greater overall data throughput and processing of larger data-sets. It comes with a three-year limited warranty.

System and Software Developers

AMD is working with leading system and software developers to help ensure broad availability of GPU accelerated end-solutions for a wide range of uses.

One such company is Aprius, which develops high bandwidth server interconnect systems that bring new levels of scaling, resource sharing and low-latency performance to the data center.

With help from AMD, Aprius plans to bring to market a solution for connecting up to eight AMD FireStream 9270 computer accelerators within a rack mounted chassis, hosted in a server cluster via multiple 80 Gbps PCI Express (PCIe) optical links. This results in 9.6 teraFLOPS of processing horsepower and 16GB of high speed memory over up to four PCIe buses. Dubbed the Aprius Computational Acceleration System, it provides new innovations in native PCIe interconnect over optical cables that allows PCIe 2.0 connections up to 50m in length, easy in-rack installation and maintenance, and transparent support for all OS environments. The technology is expected to be demonstrated at Supercomputing 2008 in Austin, Texas next week.

AMD is also working closely with long-time partner HP on the HP Accelerator Program, to ensure AMD FireStream compute accelerators are validated for use in HP ProLiant servers.

“Increased competitive pressure is driving companies to adopt high-bandwidth, compute-intensive solutions to facilitate better business decision making,” said Ed Turkel, product marketing manager for the Scalable Computing and Infrastructure organization at HP. “The combination of AMD FireStream compute accelerators with HP ProLiant servers enables customers to accelerate application performance, ultimately enabling faster development and time to market of products.”

AMD is also working closely with Brown Deer Technology, a company that provides consulting and software development services to clients solving complex and computationally challenging problems in high-performance computing.

“Using the ATI Stream SDK and Brook+ compiler, we’ve obtained GPU accelerated benchmarks on a range of algorithms, from electromagnetic and seismic wave solvers to particle-based calculations. These are important algorithms for modeling and simulation that impact wireless communication, oil and gas exploration, and physics and chemistry research,” said David Richie, president of Brown Deer Technology. “We’ve seen tremendous speed up, in some cases more than a 120x.2 The results have generated a lot of interest from customers.”

ATI Stream SDK v1.3

Version 1.3 of the free ATI Stream SDK includes extensive enhancements to help ease development of ATI Stream-enabled applications capable of running on a broader range of AMD graphics hardware, including AMD FireStream™ 9250 and AMD FireStream™ 9270 compute accelerators, ATI FirePro™ V5700 and ATI FirePro™ V8700 workstation graphics accelerators, and ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series graphics cards.

It is expected to be released in conjunction with the ATI Catalyst™ v8.12 software driver, which is planned to include ATI Stream software enablement allowing millions of users of ATI Radeon graphics cards to run ATI Stream-enabled applications. Version 1.3 of the ATI Stream SDK also includes significant improvements to the Brook+ runtime and kernel language, allowing for increased stability, flexibility and performance when compared to prior version of the SDK.

As previously announced, AMD is working with industry partners to develop the OpenCL programming standard. The continued evolution of the Stream SDK is

expected to guide developers using Brook+ code paths to OpenCL upon its release, ensuring that work done today can be leveraged in future software.

Pricing and Availability

Both the AMD FireStream 9270 compute accelerator and ATI Stream SDK v1.3 are planned to be available in late Q4 2008. The ATI FireStream 9270 is planned to have an MSRP of $1499 USD and the ATI Stream SDK is always free of charge. The AMD FireStream 9250 is available now, delivering 1 teraFLOPS of processing power while consuming roughly half the power and physical space of computing solutions3. For more information visit

About ATI Stream

ATI Stream is a set of open AMD technologies that allow the hundreds of parallel stream cores inside AMD graphics processors to accelerate general-purpose applications, resulting in platforms capable of delivering dramatically high performance-per-watt. The freely distributed, fully open ATI Stream SDK allows programmers to make advanced use of AMD hardware, and helps them to create fast, energy-efficient applications on a growing variety of platforms and operating systems.

About AMD

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is an innovative technology company dedicated to collaborating with customers and industry partners to ignite the next generation of computing and graphics solutions at work, home and play. For more information, visit

1. Based on comparison of the AMD FireStream 9270 compute accelerator vs. the Nvidia Tesla C1060 Computing Processor. The AMD FireStream 9270 delivers upwards of 240 GFLOPS double precision floating point peak performance while the Tesla C1060 claims 78 GFLOPS double precision floating point peak performance based on published information.

2. Claim based on algorithm implementation on AMD FireStream 9250 compute accelerator. When run without the assistance of the AMD FireStream 9250, the calculation completed in 1626.91 seconds. With accelerated assistance using the AMD FireStream 9250, the calculation completed in 13.08 seconds. System specifications: AMD Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition quad-core processor (2.6GHz), Windows XP 32-bit, ATI Stream SDK version 1.3 pre-release version, and AMD FireStream 9250 stream processor. Individual performance may vary.

3. Based on comparison of the AMD FireStream 9250 compute accelerator vs. the Nvidia Tesla C1060 Computing Processor. The AMD FireStream 9250 delivers upwards of 240 GFLOPS double precision floating point peak performance, consumes 120 watts at peak performance, and is a 1-slot form factor, while the Tesla C1060 claims 78 GFLOPS double precision floating point peak performance, consumes 200 watts at peak performance, and is a 2-slot form factor based on published information.
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