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AMD first with hardware-virtualised GPU

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AMD yesterday unveiled the world’s first hardware virtualised GPU products — AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs with Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology.
AMD’s hardware-virtualised GPU architecture delivers an innovative solution in response to emerging user experiences such as remote workstation, cloud gaming, cloud computing, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
In the virtualisation ecosystem, key components like the CPU, network controller and storage devices are being virtualized in hardware to deliver optimal user experiences, but prior to today the GPU was not hardware virtualized.
AMD MxGPU technology, for the first time, brings the modern virtualisation industry standard to the GPU hardware, offering consistent performance and enhanced security across virtual machines. MxGPU controls GPU scheduling delivering predictable quality of service to the user.
AMD MxGPU technology, based on SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization), a PCI Express standard:
* Delivers hardware GPU scheduling logic with high-precision quality of service to the user.
* Preserves the data integrity of virtualised machines (VMs) and their application data through hardware-enforced memory isolation logic preventing one VM from being able to access another VM’s data.
* Exposes all graphics functionality of the GPU to applications allowing for full virtualization support for not only graphics APIs like DirectX and OpenGL but also GPU compute APIs like OpenCL.
The new AMD FirePro S7150 and AMD FirePro S7150 x2 server graphics cards will combine with industry-leading OEM offerings to create high-performance virtual workstations and address IT needs of simple installation and operation, critical data security and outstanding performance-per-dollar. Typical VDI use cases include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Media and Entertainment, and office applications powered by the industry’s first hardware-based virtualised GPU.
“The AMD hardware virtualisation GPU product line is another shining example of our commitment to offer customers exceptional cutting edge graphics in conjunction with fundamental API software support,” says Sean Burke, corporate vice-president and GM of the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. “We created the innovative AMD FirePro S-series GPUs to deliver a precise, secure, high performance and enriched graphics user experience- all provided without per user licensing fees required to use AMD’s virtualised solution.”
A single AMD FirePro S7150 GPU card which features 8Gb of GDDR5 memory can support 16 simultaneous users, while up to twice as many simultaneous users (32 in total) can be supported by a single AMD FirePro S7150 x2 card which includes a total of 16Gb of GDDR5 memory (8Gb per GPU). Both models feature 256-bit memory bandwidth.
Based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture to optimize utilisation and maximise performance, the AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs feature:
* AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology to enable consistent, predictable and secure performance from virtualised workstations with the world’s first hardware-based virtualised GPU products to enable users with workstation-class experiences matched with full ISV certifications.
* GDDR5 GPU Memory to help accelerate applications and process computationally complex workflows with ease.
* Error Correcting Code (ECC) Memory to ensure the accuracy of computations by correcting any single or double bit error as a result of naturally occurring background radiation.
* OpenCL 2.0 support to help professionals tap into the parallel computing power of modern GPUs and multicore CPUs to accelerate compute-intensive tasks in leading CAD/CAM/CAE and Media & Entertainment applications that support OpenCL allowing developers to take advantage of new GPU features.
* AMD PowerTune is an intelligent power management system that monitors both GPU activity and power draw. AMD PowerTune optimizes the GPU to deliver low power draw when GPU workloads do not demand full activity and delivers the optimal clock speed to ensure the highest possible performance within the GPU’s power budget for high intensity workloads.