AMD teraflop processor is all about open-source

AMD’s next-generation stream processor, the FireStream 9250 breaks the one teraflop barrier for single precision performance.

Occuping a single PCI slot, power consumption is specified at less than 150 watts. There is 1Gbyte of GDDR3 memory on-chip.
The stream processor includes a second-generation double-precision floating point hardware implementation delivering more than 200 gigaflops, building on the capabilities of the earlier FireStream 9170.

Adding a notably open-systems flavour, AMD is publishing interfaces for its high-level language API, intermediate language, and instruction set architecture. The Stream SDK’s Brook+ front-end is available as open source code.

“An open industry standard programming specification will help drive broad-based support for stream computing technology in mainstream applications,” said Rick Bergman, senior v-p and general manager, Graphics Product Group, AMD, speaking during the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden.

The processor firm has also joined the Khronos Compute Working Group. This working group’s goals include developing industry standards for data parallel programming and working with proposed specifications like OpenCL. The OpenCL specification can help provide developers with an easy path to development across multiple platforms.

“We believe that OpenCL is a step in the right direction and we fully support this effort. AMD intends to ensure that the AMD Stream SDK rapidly evolves to comply with open industry standards as they emerge,” said Bergman.
AMD plans to deliver the FireStream 9250 and the supporting SDK in Q3 2008 at around $999.

See also: Electronics Weekly’s focus on x86 microprocessors, a roundup of content related to x86 microprocessor technologies and developments.

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