AMD's portfolio of dedicated graphics processors includes product families and associated technologies aimed at the consumer, professional and high-performance computing markets.Radeon is AMD's line of consumer 3D accelerator add-in cards. Mobility Radeon is a series of power-optimized versions of Radeon graphics chips for use in laptops. They introduced innovations such as modularized RAM chips, DVD (MPEG2) acceleration, notebook GPU card sockets, and power management technology. AMD recently announced DirectX 11.1-compatible versions of its mobile processors. FirePro is AMD's line of professional graphics processors for workstations. Based on the Radeon series, it succeeds the FireGL series of workstation CAD/CAM video cards, and the FireMV series for workstations with 2D acceleration. FireStream is a stream processor designed to utilize the stream processing/GPGPU (General Purpose Graphics Processing Units) concept for heavy floating-point computations to target various industries, such as the High Performance Computing (HPC), scientific, and financial sectors. The AMD FireStream can also be used as a floating-point co-processor for offloading CPU calculations, which is part of the Torrenza initiative. EyeFinity – Allows up to 6 monitors to be connected to one card to allow surround-screen panoramic view. EyeSpeed – Allows to experience games with true-to-life actions-and reactions. Features such as physics effects, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more.
AMD Catalyst is a collection of proprietary device drivers software available for most platforms, including Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux. Linux users can also opt to use open-source drivers, whose development is assisted by AMD. Hardware component companies which only provide proprietary drivers have always been urged by the free-software community to make their drivers free software, or at least provide the necessary documentation for the community to write their own drivers.
Since 2007, the AMD has partly cooperated with the development of free graphics drivers, but have not made their Catalyst drivers free. The programming specifications for a number of chipsets and features were published in several rounds. This greatly changed their support of the development of free graphics drivers, as until that moment only unsupported free drivers existed. Besides releasing the specifications, AMD also funded the development of new "open source" drivers, and has even hired some employees to actively work on free software drivers.AMD chipsets See also: Comparison of AMD chipsets
Before the launch of Athlon 64 processors in 2003, AMD designed chipsets for their processors spanning the K6 and K7 processor generations. The chipsets include the AMD-640, AMD-751 and the AMD-761 chipsets. The situation changed in 2003 with the release of Athlon 64 processors, and AMD chose not to further design its own chipsets for its desktop processors while opening the desktop platform to allow other firms to design chipsets. This was the “Open Platform Management Architecture” with ATI, VIA and SiS developing their own chipset for Athlon 64 processors and later Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX processors, including the Quad FX platform chipset from Nvidia.
The initiative went further with the release of Opteron server processors as AMD stopped the design of server chipsets in 2004 after releasing the AMD-8111 chipset, and again opened the server platform for firms to develop chipsets for Opteron processors. As of today, Nvidia and Broadcom are the sole designing firms of server chipsets for Opteron processors.
As the company completed the acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006, the firm gained the ATI design team for chipsets which previously designed the Radeon Xpress 200 and the Radeon Xpress 3200 chipsets. AMD then renamed the chipsets for AMD processors under AMD branding (for instance, the CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset was renamed as AMD 580X CrossFire chipset). In February 2007, AMD announced the first AMD-branded chipset since 2004 with the release of the AMD 690G chipset (previously under the development codename RS690), targeted at mainstream IGP computing. It was the industry's first to implement a HDMI 1.2 port on motherboards, shipping for more than a million units. While ATI had aimed at releasing an Intel IGP chipset, the plan was scrapped and the inventories of Radeon Xpress 1250 (codenamed RS600, sold under ATI brand) was sold to two OEMs, Abit and ASRock. Although AMD states the firm will still produce Intel chipsets, Intel had not granted the license of 1333 MHz FSB to ATI.
On November 15, 2007, AMD announced a new chipset series portfolio, the AMD 7-Series chipsets, covering from enthusiast multi-graphics segment to value IGP segment, to replace the AMD 480/570/580 chipsets and AMD 690 series chipsets, marking AMD's first enthusiast multi-graphics chipset. Discrete graphics chipsets were launched on November 15, 2007 as part of the codenamed Spider desktop platform, and IGP chipsets were launched at a later time in Spring 2008 as part of the codenamed Cartwheel platform.
AMD returned to the server chipsets market with the AMD 800S series server chipsets. It includes support for up to six SATA 6.0 Gbit/s ports, the C6 power state, which is featured in Fusion processors and AHCI 1.2 with SATA FIS–based switching support. This is a chipset family supporting Phenom processors and Quad FX enthusiast platform (890FX), IGP(890GX).AMD Live! Main article: AMD Live!
As of 2007, AMD LIVE! was a platform marketing initiative focusing the consumer electronics segment, with an Active TV initiative for streaming Internet videos from web video services such as YouTube, into AMD Live! PC as well as connected digital TVs, together with a scheme for an ecosystem of certified peripherals for the ease of customers to identify peripherals for AMD LIVE! systems for digital home experience, called "AMD LIVE! Ready".AMD Quad FX platform Main article: AMD Quad FX platform
The AMD Quad FX platform, being an extreme enthusiast platform, allows two processors to connect through HyperTransport, which is a similar setup to dual-processor (2P) servers, excluding the use of buffered memory/registered memory DIMM modules, and a server motherboard, the current setup includes two Athlon 64 FX-70 series processors and a special motherboard. AMD pushed the platform for the surging demands for what AMD calls "megatasking", the ability to do more tasks on a single system. The platform refreshes with the introduction of Phenom FX processors and the next-generation RD790 chipset, codenamed "FASN8".Commercial platform
AMD's first multi-processor server platform, codenamed Fiorano, consists of AMD SR5690 + SP5100 server chipsets, supporting 45 nm, codenamed Shanghai Socket F+ processors and registered DDR2 memory. It was followed by the Maranello platform supporting 45 nm, codenamed Istanbul, Socket G34 processors with DDR3 memory. On single-processor platform, the codenamed Catalunya platform consists of codenamed Suzuka 45 nm quad-core processor with AMD SR5580 + SP5100 chipset and DDR3 support.
AMD's x86 virtualization extension to the 64-bit x86 architecture is named AMD Virtualization, also known by the abbreviation AMD-V, and is sometimes referred to by the code name "Pacifica". AMD processors using Socket AM2, Socket S1, and Socket F include AMD Virtualization support. AMD Virtualization is also supported by release two (8200, 2200 and 1200 series) of the Opteron processors. The third generation (8300 and 2300 series) of Opteron processors will see an update in virtualization technology, specifically the Rapid Virtualization Indexing (also known by the development name Nested Page Tables), alongside the Tagged TLB and Device Exclusion Vector (DEV).
AMD also promotes the "AMD I/O Virtualization Technology" (also known as IOMMU) for I/O virtualization. The AMD IOMMU specification has been updated to version 1.2. The specification describes the use of a HyperTransport architecture.
AMD's commercial initiatives include the following:AMD Trinity, provides support for virtualization, security and management. Key features include AMD-V technology, codenamed Presidio trusted computing platform technology, I/O Virtualization and Open Management Partition. AMD Raiden, future clients similar to the Jack PC to be connected through network to a blade server for central management, to reduce client form factor sizes with AMD Trinity features. Torrenza, coprocessors support through interconnects such as HyperTransport, and PCI Express (though more focus was at HyperTransport enabled coprocessors), also opening processor socket architecture to other manufacturers, Sun and IBM are among the supporting consortium, with rumoured POWER7 processors would be socket-compatible to future Opteron processors. The move made rival Intel respond with the opening of Front Side Bus (FSB) architecture as well as Geneseo, a collaboration project with IBM for coprocessors connected through PCI Express. Various certified systems programs and platforms: AMD Commercial Stable Image Platform (CSIP), together with AMD Validated Server program, AMD True Server Solutions, AMD Thermally Tested Barebones Platforms and AMD Validated Server Program, providing certified systems for business from AMD. Desktop platforms
Starting in 2007, AMD, following Intel, began using codenames for its desktop platforms such as Spider or Dragon. The platforms, unlike Intel's approach, will refresh every year, putting focus on platform specialization. The platform includes components as AMD processors, chipsets, ATI graphics and other features, but continued to the open platform approach, and welcome components from other vendors such as VIA, SiS, and Nvidia, as well as wireless product vendors.
Updates to the platform includes the implementation of IOMMU I/O Virtualization with 45 nm generation of processors, and the AMD 800 chipset series in 2009.Embedded systems Main articles: Alchemy (processor) and Geode (processor)
In February 2002, AMD acquired Alchemy Semiconductor for its Alchemy line of MIPS processors for the hand-held and portable media player markets. On June 13, 2006, AMD officially announced that the line was to be transferred to Raza Microelectronics, Inc., a designer of MIPS processors for embedded applications.
In August 2003, AMD also purchased the Geode business which was originally the Cyrix MediaGX from National Semiconductor to augment its existing line of embedded x86 processor products. During the second quarter of 2004, it launched new low-power Geode NX processors based on the K7 Thoroughbred architecture with speeds of fanless processors 667 MHz and 1 GHz, and 1.4 GHz processor with fan, of TDP 25 W. This technology is used in a variety of embedded systems (Casino slot machines and customer kiosks for instance), several UMPC designs in Asia markets, as well as the OLPC XO-1 computer, an inexpensive laptop computer intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world. The Geode LX processor was announced in 2005 and is said will continue to be available through 2015.
For the past couple of years AMD has been introducing 64-bit processors into its embedded product line starting with the AMD Opteron processor. Leveraging the high throughput enabled through HyperTransport and the Direct Connect Architecture these server class processors have been targeted at high end telecom and storage applications. In 2007 AMD added the AMD Athlon, AMD Turion and Mobile AMD Sempron processors to its embedded product line. Leveraging the same 64-bit instruction set and Direct Connect Architecture as the AMD Opteron but at lower power levels, these processors were well suited to a variety of traditional embedded applications. Throughout 2007 and into 2008 AMD has continued to add both single-core Mobile AMD Sempron and AMD Athlon processors and dual-core AMD Athlon X2 and AMD Turion processors to its embedded product line and now offers embedded 64-bit solutions starting with 8W TDP Mobile AMD Sempron and AMD Athlon processors for fan-less designs up to multi-processor systems leveraging multi-core AMD Opteron processors all supporting longer than standard availability.
The ATI acquisition included the Imageon and Xilleon product lines. In late 2008, the entire handheld division was sold off to Qualcomm, who have since produced the Adreno series. The Xilleon division was sold to Broadcom.
In April 2007, AMD announced the release of the M690T integrated graphics chipset for embedded designs. This enabled AMD to offer complete processor and chipset solutions targeted at embedded applications requiring high performance 3D and video such as emerging digital signage, kiosk and Point of Sale applications. The M690T was followed by the M690E specifically for embedded applications which removed the TV output, which required Macrovision licensing for OEMs, and enabled native support for dual TMDS outputs, enabling dual independent DVI interfaces.
In 2008, AMD announced the Radeon E2400, the first discrete GPU in their embedded product line offering the same long term availability as their other embedded products. That was followed in 2009 with the higher performance Redeon E4690 discrete GPU.
In 2009, AMD announced their first BGA packaged e64 architecture processors, known as the ASB1 family.
In 2010, AMD announced a second generation BGA platform referred to as ASB2. They also announced several new AM3 based processors with support for DDR3 memory.
In January 2011, AMD Announced the AMD Embedded G-Series Accelerated Processing Unit. The first Fusion family APU for embedded applications. This announcement was followed by announcements for the high performance AMD Radeon E6760 and the value-conscious Radeon E6460 discrete GPUs. These solutions all added support for DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1 and OpenCL 1.1.
In May 2012, AMD Announced the AMD Embedded R-Series Accelerated Processing Unit. This family of products incorporates the Bulldozer CPU architecture, and Discrete-class AMD Radeon™ HD 7000G Series graphics.
AMD Embedded solution offer 5+ year product life.Other initiatives 50x15, digital inclusion, with targeted 50% of world population to be connected through Internet via affordable computers by the year of 2015. The Green Grid, founded by AMD together with other founders, such as IBM, Sun and Microsoft, to seek lower power consumption for grids. Codenamed SIMFIRE – interoperability testing tool for the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) open architecture. Software Extensions for software parallelism (xSP), aimed at speeding up programs to enable multi-threaded and multi-core processing, announced in Technology Analyst Day 2007. One of the initiatives being discussed since August 2007 is the Light Weight Profiling (LWP), providing internal hardware monitor with runtimes, to observe information about executing process and help the re-design of software to be optimized with multi-core and even multi-threaded programs. Another one is the extension of Streaming SIMD Extension (SSE) instruction set, the SSE5. AMD contributes to open source projects, including working with Sun Microsystems to enhance OpenSolaris and Sun xVM on the AMD platform. AMD also maintains its own Open64 compiler distribution and contributes its changes back to the community. In 2008, AMD released the low-level programming specifications for its GPUs, and works with the X.Org Foundation to develop drivers for AMD graphics cards. AMD has also taken an active part in developing coreboot, and open source projects aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS firmware. Other AMD software includes the AMD Core Math Library, and open-source software including the AMD Performance Library, and the CodeAnalyst performance profiler.