AMD announces new FirePro APUs and GPUs

AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), an American multinational semiconductor company based in Sunnyvale, California, requires no introduction. The Intel rival debuted its first ever APUs in its FirePro lineup of processors that is targeted towards entry level and mainstream desktop terminals. APU stands for accelerated processing unit and is basically a processing system that comprises of additional processing capability designed to accelerate one or more types of computations outside of a CPU. This may include a graphics processing unit (GPU) used for general-purpose computing, a field-programmable gate array or similar specialized processing system.

AMD announced launched of its new W9000, W8000, W7000 and W5000 workstation graphics cards under the FirePro GPU lineup, thus growing its traditional family. Apart from the workstation GPUs, AMD has also launched two entry level APUs – FirePro A300 and A320 APUs. These APUs are unique because they are the first products in FirePro line up which combine the compute performance a traditional CPU as well as a graphics based GPU. This combined APU architecture provides a Powerful Integrated Visual Computing Platform for CAD and Media and Entertainment Workflows.

“The AMD FirePro A300 Series APUs combines AMD FirePro graphics technology with advanced CPU technology, delivering incredible compute performance, refined design flexibility and outstanding efficiency,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Graphics, in a statement.

The FirePro A300 and A320 include four CPU cores and 384 GPU Stream processors, which is outstanding going by the current standards. Few APUs in the market currently include – AMD Fusion, Cell (microprocessor), Intel HD Graphics, and NVIDIA’s Project Denver. According to the press release, FirePro A320 is the faster among the two and has a GPU clocked at 800 MHz and a CPU clocked at 4.2 GHz. The A300 is placed below A320 and has its GPU clocked at 760 MHz and the CPU is clocked at 4 GHz. The major difference, however, is that unlike A320, the A300 comes locked, thus depriving you of any overclocking benefits.

AMD said it integrated its Turbo Core technology in these APUs. Turbo Core technology basically provides faster clock speeds for improved performance of CPU intensive workloads and is equivalent to Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. Using Turbo Core technology, the company claimed to have taken full advantage of their hybrid CPU and GPU architectures. The Turbo Core in this context scales and balances workstation workloads between the CPU and GPU dynamically which apparently converts to smoother and responsive experience for the user. Apart from this technology, AMD’s Eyefinity technology is also incorporated in these APUs which allows multiple displays to be connected which along with Discrete Compute Offload can power horizontal display arrays of up to 10,240 x 1,600 pixels.

AMD also manufactures E-Series of ALU chips which are targeted towards low end notebooks and desktops. The company had previously launched Brazos 2.0 E-Series APUs which is targeted towards computers running Windows 8, Microsoft’s upcoming operating system.

The FirePro W9000, W8000, W7000, W5000 workstation GPUs are said to have more memory bandwidth and multiple display support in comparison to previous generation FirePro GPUs. Below are the specifications and price tag of each of the GPUs.

AMD FirePro™ W9000
High-performance CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage professionals
4 TFLOPs single precision
1 TFLOP double precision
6GB of high speed GDDR5 memory

AMD FirePro™ W8000
High-performance CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage professionals
3.23 TFLOPs single precision
806 GFLOPs double precision
4GB of high speed GDDR5 memory

AMD FirePro™ W7000
Mid-range solution for CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage
2.4 TFLOPs single precision
152 GFLOPs double precision
4GB of high speed GDDR5 memory

AMD FirePro™ W5000
Mid-range solution for CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage
1.27 TFLOPs single precision
80 GFLOPs double precision
2GB of high speed GDDR5 memory

These GPUs can be bought from AMD resellers and supports Supermicro SuperWorkstations. What are your thoughts on these products? Are you going to use any of these in your upcoming rigs? Let us know your thoughts using the comment form below.

Source: AMD