Feeds

ATI to take GPUs into the stream age

Enterprise apps to run on games hardware, company hopes

Security for virtualized datacentres

ATI - effectively AMD - has begun pitching its Radeon X1900 graphics chip at corporates, not for running graphics on workstations but for processing large data sets much the way Intel's Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) are meant to.

Dubbed 'Stream Computing', ATI's initiative pitches the technology at scientific and engineering applications such as oil-field analysis and chemical experimentation, though ATI was quick to admit the system may also find a home in more consumer-centric applications too, and in mainstream business for database searching and financial modelling.

While not explicitly associated with games physics processing, Stream Computing works much the same way: specially designed coding tools allow the GPU's many pixel shader processors to crunch through non-graphics applications. It's all bits and bytes after all, and it's up to the host application to interpret the results the GPU churns out as hydrocarbon pressure densities rather than exploding Strogg.

The key is that such applications involve large blocks of data, all of which require processing in the same way. So-called vector information has been targeted with dedicated processing tools in mainstream CPUs, with systems like Intel's SSE, AMD's SSE-aping 3DNow! and Motorola/Freescale's AltiVec.

There's a way to go, and for now ATI is simply punting the concept and encouraging corporates to explore ways in which its GPUs could accelerate their calculations. Enterprisises need to tie their existing and future apps into ATI's GPUs, and that means working either with ATI or with third-party API designers who'll provide the middleware to bridge enterprise application and GPU. Together, they'll also need to develop code to allow racks of GPUs to co-operate on single applications. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.