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AMD revs up 3D graphics rendering

Posted: 15 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D graphics? graphics accelerator? digital content?

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s ATI graphics unit has claimed performance milestones last week for its FirePro 3D graphics accelerators.

The AMD group said it expects to deliver what it says is the fastest and most cost effective rendering for 3D CAD software during last week's IBC 2008 conference in Amsterdam. The device targets the creation, management and delivery of digital content for the entertainment industry.

ATI said it worked directly with vendors to develop the 3D modeling software. Vendors included Solidworks Corp. and Dassault Systems, which offers the Catia (Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application). For both 3D modeling packages, ATI built in direct vertex buffer object (VBO) support for its line of 3D graphics accelerators.

"Our accelerators can offload the main processor by buffering often-used graphics information in memory resident on the FirePro accelerators," said Bahman Dara, ATI's senior product marketing manager.

VBO is a buffer that stores frequently used data about triangles and lines into memory on the graphics accelerator, instead of requiring the host processor to constantly access a hard disk to retrieve it. The result is a four-fold speed increase over non-VBO application execution.

ATI's new line of graphics accelerators have already achieved a 40 percent speed increase over last year's models by using AMD's latest processors.

At the Siggraph 2008 conference in August, ATI showed its entry level FireGL FireMV accelerators, but at IBC 2008 the company will show its higher end FirePro accelerators, which include 30bit color rendering as well as support for the new DisplayPort interconnection standard and 3D synchronized right- and left-eye image support for stereographic displays.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times





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