AMD has announced the imminent launch of its GPGPU technology called ATI Stream. Like the NVIDIA CUDA technology it is competing directly, it can use the card for purposes other than the graphics rendering and to delegate some calculations usually borne by the processor.
Very different from that of central processors (CPU) being composed of several tens to hundreds of processors flows, the architecture of graphics processors is actually particularly suited to some massively parallel processing such as video encoding.The Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told us more about the process in an interview a few weeks ago. But unlike CUDA, ATI Stream is based on an open standard, the OpenCL.
Expected on December 10, the next update drivers Catalyst make available to the general public ATI Stream technology because all owners of ATI Radeon graphics cards the HD 4000 series can benefit.
Taking advantage of this technology and to get an idea, the software ATI Avivo Video Converter is available immediately and free. AMD, which had the discretion to compare the performance gain provided by its technology on a machine equipped with an Intel Core 2 Quad, and not an AMD Phenom X4 for example, has seen a substantial gain. The time required for transcoding a video of one hour of MPEG2 at 1080p in H264 QVGA would be spent over three hours to 12 minutes or 15 times less time. Other software such as CyberLink PowerDirector 7 or ArcSoft TotalMedia Theater will also be updated during the first quarter of 2009. A development kit (SDK) is also available now for free and allows developers to integrate this technology into their software.
Until the Fusion project whose goal is the unification of the central processor (CPU) and graphics processor (GPU) into a single chip takes shape, GPGPU is taking shape.