Rahul Sharma

AMD FirePro

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Design firm  Advanced Micro Devices
AMD FirePro
Type  Professional workstations

AMD FirePro was AMD's brand of graphics cards intended for use in workstations and servers running professional Computer-aided design (CAD), Computer-generated imagery (CGI), Digital content creation (DCC), and High-performance computing/GPGPU applications. The GPU chips on FirePro-branded graphics cards are identical to the ones used on Radeon-branded graphics cards. The end products (i.e. the graphics card) differentiate substantially by the provided graphics device drivers and through the available professional support for the software. The product line is split into two categories: "W" workstation series focused on workstation and focusing on graphics and display, and "S" server series focused on virtualization and GPGPU/High-performance computing.

Contents

The release of the Radeon Pro Duo in April 2016 and the announcement of the Radeon Pro WX Series in July 2016 marked the succession of Radeon Pro as AMD's professional workstation graphics card solution.

Competitors included Nvidia's Quadro-branded and to some extent Tesla-branded product series and Intel's Xeon Phi-branded products.

Multi-monitor support

AMD Eyefinity supports multi-monitor set-ups. One graphics card can drive up to a maximum of six monitors; the supported number depends on the distinct product and the number of DisplayPort displays. The device driver facilitates the configuration of diverse display group modes.

Differences with the Radeon Line

The FirePro line is designed for compute intensive, multimedia content creation (such as video editors), and mechanical engineering design software (such as CAD programs). Their Radeon counterparts are suited towards video games and other consumer applications. Because they use the same drivers (Catalyst) and are based on the same architectures and chipsets, the major differences are essentially limited to price and double-precision performance. However, some FirePro cards may have major feature differences to the equivalent Radeon card, such as ECC RAM and differing physical display outputs.

Since the 2007 series, high-end and ultra-end FireGL/FirePro products (based on the R600 architecture) have officially implemented stream processing. The Radeon line of video cards, although present in hardware, did not offer any support for stream processing until the HD 4000 series where beta level OpenCL 1.0 support is offered, and the HD 5000 series and later, where full OpenCL 1.1 support is offered.

Heterogeneous System Architecture

HSA is intended to facilitate the programming for stream processing and/or GPGPU in combination with CPUs and DSPs. All models implementing the Graphics Core Next microarchitecture support hardware features defined by the HSA Foundation and AMD has provided corresponding software.

FirePro DirectGMA

  • GPUOpen: http://gpuopen.com/compute-product/direct-gma/
  • Soft-mods

    Because of the similarities between FireGL and Radeon cards, some users soft-mod their Radeon cards by using third-party software or automated scripts accompanied with a modified FireGL driver patch, to enable FireGL capabilities for their hardware, effectively getting a cheaper, equivalent, FireGL cards, often with better OpenGL capabilities, but usually half of the amount of video memory. Some variants can also be soft-modded to a FireStream stream processor.

    The trend of soft-mods continued with the 2007 series FireGL cards, as follows:

    History

    The FireGL line was originally developed by the German company Spea Software AG until it was acquired by Diamond Multimedia in late 1995. The first FireGL board used the 3Dlabs GLINT 3D processor chip.

    Deprecated brand names are ATI FireGL, ATI FirePro 3D, and AMD FireStream.

    In July 2016, AMD announced it would be replacing the FirePro brand with Radeon Pro.

    References

    AMD FirePro Wikipedia


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