Tag: Radeon

AMD releases AI based Radeons with basic instinct

BasicInstinct002AMD is announcing a new series of Radeon-branded products today, targeted at machine intelligence and deep learning enterprise applications.

Dubbed the Radeon Instinct, the chip is a GPU-based solution for deep learning, inference and training. AMD has also issued a new free, open-source library and framework for GPU accelerators, dubbed MIOpen.

MIOpen is made for high-performance machine intelligence applications and is optimized for deep learning frameworks in AMD’s ROCm software suite.

The first products are the Radeon Instinct MI6, the MI8, and the MI25. The 150W Radeon Instinct MI6 accelerator is powered by a Polaris-based GPU, packs 16GB of memory (224GB/s peak bandwidth), and can manage 5.7 TFLOPS of peak FP16 performance when the wind is behind it and it is going downhill.

It also includes the Fiji-based Radeon Instinct MI8. Like the Radeon R9 Nano, the Radeon Instinct MI8 features 4GB of High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) with peak bandwidth of 512GB/s. AMD claims the MI8 will offer up to 8.2 TFLOPS of peak FP16 compute performance, with a board power that typical falls below 175W.

The Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerator uses AMD’s next-generation Vega GPU architecture and has a board power of approximately 300W. All the Radeon Instinct accelerators are passively cooled but when installed into a server chassis you can bet there will be plenty of air flow.

Like the recently released Radeon Pro WX series of professional graphics cards for workstations, Radeon Instinct accelerators will be built by AMD. All the Radeon Instinct cards will also support AMD MultiGPU (MxGPU) hardware virtualisation.

AMD retires catalyst controllers

AMD Analyst Day '15Troubled chipmaker AMD is ditching Catalyst Control Centre for a new system dubbed Radeon Settings.

The new software is part of AMD’s Radeon Software Crimson Edition which is supposed to be the next new thing in graphics drivers.

AMD’s Raho Koduri and Terry Makedon said that AMD has been delivering graphics drivers for the past 20+ years, and during this time the graphics driver evolved way beyond the graphics device driver.

Now there are user interfaces, libraries, tools, applications, packaged as drivers.

The software has morphed into a mini graphics operating system. With the formation of Radeon Technologies Group, AMD has decided to call this mini graphics operating system, Radeon Software, they said.

Radeon Software Crimson Edition is completely “re-architected” and will offer new features, improvements to stability and responsiveness, and performance improvements.

This includes a new Game Manager, video quality presets, social media integration, simplified EF setup, a system notifications tab, and more. The first version is expected out this month.

The Radeon Settings of the Catalyst Control Centre is based on.NET and doesn’t work particularly well. This update is supposed to be more responsive and easy to use. The Radeon Settings menus will offer a completely new modernised UX.

Apparently it will open in fraction of a second rather than the few seconds the current software takes.

The new Game Manager will give users the ability to set per-game profiles. And the video manager will feature several optimised profiles for various video types (sports, classic cinema, home video, outdoor, etc.) and also allow for easy customization.

The Overdrive menu returns, with a similar feature set to what’s already offered in CCC, but the new Overdrive menu is revamped.

The Display Settings menu has also been completely revamped and will allow for customised settings on individual screens. The Eyefinity configuration menu and System Info tabs have similarly been redesigned.

Get 1080p competitive gaming for under $100

AMD has just released a cheap option for those who want to create a cheap as chips gaming machine.

The Radeon R7 250X graphics card has just been released and AMD claims it offers 1080p competitive gaming for under $100. 

Graphics cards based on Radeon R7 250X will be available from AMD’s partners starting today.

OK it is probably pushing it to claim “1080p competitive gaming” but it does seem to manage 40 frames per second on games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts — at least if you believe the AMD video.

Specs for the R7 250X include either 1GB or 2GB of VRAM at 4.5 GHz, 640 stream processors, 40 texture units, and 16 ROPs.

It’s better than AMD’s R7 250, which is $10 cheaper, though the typical R7 250X card will consume nearly 50 percent more power at 95W.

However it still might not be the great deal which it appears. The R7 250X is a pimped up version of AMD’s two year-old Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition card and it can’t do AMD’s TrueAudio technology.

It can manage the Mantle API, which helps boost game performance through software optimisations.

Nvidia is supposed to be launching cards based on its new Maxwell architecture soon, you may want to wait a little bit longer. 

AMD says Kaveri up for pre-order

AMD has announced that two of its A-series “Kaveri” chips are now available for preorder, and will be in the shops on January 14.

Inside the new A10-7700K and A10-7850K are 4 CPU cores and 8 Radeon R7 GPU cores. Now, however, AMD is simply referring to both as “compute cores,” and failing to distinguish between the two. Both chips contain 12 “compute cores”.

At the CES show at Las Vegas AMD also announced three new mobile GPUs for notebooks, including the R9 290 GTX.  and the R5 M230.

The chipmaker also talked about its the Discovery Project, a sleeve that designed to plug into and enhance AMD-based tablets, and an envelope-sized PC prototype that uses one of AMD’s next-generation ultrabook chip, code-named “Mullins.”

What appears to be happening is that the lines between CPUs and GPUs are blurring, as specialised tasks once performed by high-end microprocessors are being passed over to more specialised GPUs serving as coprocessors.

Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, global business units, told an audience at the AMD press conference that the number of APUs is expected to grow to 160 million units by 2015, doubling in the last two years

She said that Kaveri is the best and most powerful APU that AMD has ever put out there,” Su said. She ran a brief clip of what of Tomb Raider, running on Kaveri to prove it.

Kaveri is the first AMD processor to support HAS and Su also announced some aggressive benchmarks in a bid to stick two fingers up at Chipzilla which was also having a bit announcement.

The new chips should offer a total compute power of 856 gigaflops which is fairly floppy. Both chips will have support for AMD’s TrueAudio technology, Graphics Core Next architecture with AMD’s Mantle technology, and will be powered by AMD’s Steamroller processor architecture. 

More executions happen in Hawaii

AMD’s Radeon “Hawaii” GPU is likely to have more execution units than previously believed and may have 3072 Stream Processors.

According to XbitLabs, AMD’s latest code-named Hawaii graphics processors may feature more stream processors than officially advertised.

A leaked die-shot of AMD Hawaii has revealed that the graphics processor can feature more execution units than are enabled even in case of the flagship Radeon R9 290X.

This means that a fully-fledged Hawaii will have 48 compute units, or as many as 3072 stream processors (SPs), 192 TMUs and 64 ROPs.

At the moment it is not clear if the Hawaii die-shot is correct or not but it does seem to be a good bet.

AMD sells two graphics cards based on Hawaii GPUs. The first is the Radeon R9 290X with 2816 stream processors or 44 compute units, 176 texture-mapping units and 64 raster operating units. Then there is the Radeon R9 290 with 2560 stream processors, 40 CUs, 160 TMUs and 64 ROPs.

AMD is yet to announce a specification of a fully unlocked Hawaii graphics chip and has never officially demonstrated a die-shot of the GPU.

Looking at the leaked die-shot, it would appear that the graphics processor can feature more execution units than are enabled even in case of the flagship Radeon R9 290X. By adding up the numbers and dividing by your shoe size you can guess that a fully-fledged Hawaii sports 48 compute units, or as many as 3072 stream processors, 192 TMUs and 64 ROPs.

If this is all true then you are left wondering why AMD disabled them. XbitLabs thinks that it can only be to ensure steady supply of Radeon R9 290X even if there are problems on the manufacturing side.

Since it is hard to produce highly-complex chips with all execution units working perfectly and at desired clock-rate, GPU designers disable certain units to boost the number of chips that hit performance targets and can be shipped to customers.

AMD is, of course, saying nothing. 

Retail Radeon chips still go slower than review copies

Chimpzilla’s Radeon R9 290 and 290X review copies appear to be performing better than retail versions.

Techreport penned a review which said that AMD upended the high-end graphics market by offering performance competitive with Nvidia’s existing products at substantially lower prices. The R9 290X captured the overall GPU performance crown, wresting it away from the GeForce GTX 780 and Titan.

However, some of its readers said that Radeon R9 290X cards bought at retail do not seem to perform as well as the review units AMD supplied to the press.

The retail R9 290-series cards had the same basic hardware and specifications as the review samples, but at least some retail R9 290-series cards seemed to operate at lower clock speeds.

Techreport got on the blower to AMD which investigated and found that the fans on some retail cards were not spinning as fast as expected, and the reduced cooling capacity resulted in lower clock speeds.

It issued a fix in the form of a software update. The Catalyst 13.11 beta 9v2 driver sought to equalize blower speeds from card to card by monitoring RPM directly, thus hopefully improving performance on retail cards that seemed to lag behind.

Techreport wanted to test a retail card but could not afford it, until Nvidia offered to buy a couple of retail R9 290X cards for them to test. Nvidia did not touch the cards which were shipped from New Egg. It looked like Nvidia were happy to foot the bill because it was fairly sure that AMD would look very bad.

It tested two Radeon R9 290X cards: one from HIS and the other from Sapphire. Apart from the stickers on the cooling shrouds, the two look to be identical and to the two R9 290X review samples.

The testing showed that AMD’s software fix to equalize blower speeds in the Catalyst 13.11 beta 9v2 driver release definitely improves the worst of the low-clock-speed problems. The fix appears to raise fan speeds overall for 290X cards, slightly for our initial review unit and more dramatically for our HIS retail card.

However the initial R9 290X review unit was superior to the two retail cards tested. Even with the blower speed fix working the first review unit runs at 5-10 per cent higher clock speeds than the retail cards, depending on the workload. That deficit translates into a 5-10 per cent advantage in frame rates, though usually toward the lower end of that range at 4K resolutions and lower voltage.

The initial review was skewed so that the Radeon R9 290X so that the card’s performance was better than it should be and it was quieter.

It thinks that AMD chose to include some of its very best Hawaii GPUs aboard the review samples it supplied to the press. 

AMD rushes out a new Radeon R9 290 fix

AMD has quickly rushed out another Catalyst driver update which fixes an embarrassing bug in its Radeon R9 290 series.

Last week tech magazines noticed that the Radeon R9 290 series was making low level operational changes that will have a direct impact on the power, noise, and performance of the cards.

It would appear that fans were running too slow, which could have resulted in lower performing cards.

The new catalyst update fixes a problem with the variability in the fan speeds on the cards. Specifically AMD has changed the algorithms for how their drivers handle the fan speeds and overridden the BIOS defaults.

Currently fan speeds are based on percentages, but now it seems that AMD has switched to controlling fan speeds on an absolute basis, using the measured RPM of the fan.

For the release of the new driver, AMD said that it had identified that there’s variability in fan speeds across AMD R9 290 series boards. This variability in fan speed translates into variability of the cooling capacity of the fan-sink.

Using PowerTune technology this could be corrected this variability in a driver update and will normalise the fan RPMs to the correct values. 

AMD results were better than expected

AMD surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street by accouncing a better than expected third quarter result.

AMD made $1.46 billion which was made up of operating income of $95 million and net income of $48 million.

Analysts figures were stuffed up by AMD collecting a deal to supplying processors for new game consoles like Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One, which go on sale in November.

Rory Read, AMD president and CEO, said that AMD returned to profitability and generated free cash flow in the third quarter.

He said that it was all part of his strategic transformation plan which was outlined a year ago.

Read said he wanted to generate half of the outfit’s revenue from high-growth markets over the next two years.

“Developing industry-leading technology remains at our core, and we are in the middle of a multi-year journey to redefine AMD as a leader across a more diverse set of growth markets,” Read said.

But there was somethings to concern investors, some of whom thought the blow-out in the books from the console deal should have been higher.

Revenue from the company’s computing solutions segment revenue decreased six percent sequentially and decreased 15 percent year-over-year.

This was due to less notebook and chipset unit shipments, partially offset by an increase in desktop unit shipments.

Operating income was $22 million, compared with operating income of $2 million in the second quarter and an operating loss of $114 million in third quarter of last year 2012.

The microprocessor average selling price (ASP) was flat sequentially and decreased year-over-year, AMD said.

Graphics and visual revenue increased 110 percent sequentially and increased 96 percent thanks to AMD’s semi custom business.

But GPU revenue declined, this is because in the third quarter AMD customers began moving to new products. 

AMD chips give MacBook Pros a stinking headache

Users of 2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pros are finding that their AMD graphics processors are letting them down and that they need a $500 logic board replacement.

Several threads on Apple’s Support Communities forum suggest that the problem presents itself as a graphical glitch or complete system lockup.

The problem appears to be caused when the MacBook Pro switches from the integrated Intel graphics chip to the discrete AMD GPU.

According to Apple Insider the first problems cropped up in February, but are increasing.

What appears to have happened is that Apple introduced the automatic graphics switching system, which shifts the processing load between the integrated chip and the discrete GPU based on what the user is doing.

First users get display discoloration, banding, and image distortion, but others say that their computers suddenly freeze without any warning. Rebooting rarely fixes the problem.

The majority of affected users are using early-2011 MacBook Pros with the AMD Radeon 6750M GPU. However failures are not limited to that chip as those using the Radeon 6490M, 6750M, and 6970M GPUs are also experiencing the problem.

Of course Apple has been slow to respond and have been telling users without AppleCare that they will have to buy a new logic board which will set them back $500 or more. They are also treated to a stare from the Apple Genius as to why they owned such an old laptop when the true Apple religion demands a yearly upgrade.

Apple 2011 laptop range appears to be mourning the death of Steve Jobs, with problems on the models now stretches over more than 140 pages with over 2,000 replies on one site alone. 

AMD releases two new Radeons

AMD has released two Radeon GPUs as it attempts to extend its control over the gaming  graphics market.

The AMD Radeon R9 270X and AMD Radeon R9 280X, GPUs have both been designed with gamers in mind. The Radeon R9 270X graphics card is targeted for 1080p gaming and the Radeon R9 280X graphics card is designed for 2560×1440 resolution and loaded with 3GB of memory.

They both use Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, and Mantle, which is technology developed by AMD to harness the GCN-powered cores of both PCs and consoles.

Mantle-enabled games are supposed connect to the base-code of the GCN architecture and get hardware optimisation benefits. Radeon R9 Series graphics cards also have UltraHD (4K) and AMD Eyefinity.

Matt Skynner, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Graphics Business Unit, AMD said that the combo of GCN architecture and Mantle, unlocked graphics performance was entrenched in the DNA of all AMD-powered GPUs.

He said that there were also plans to install the same sort of technology in all AMD APUs too.

The Radeon R9 280X, which was codenamed Tahiti XT and will cost $299 while the Radeon R9 270X is based Tahiti LE will retail for $199.