A Giant Leap Forward for HSA


As the great Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu once observed, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. This quote is often used to remind us that a task that appears daunting at first, can be accomplished by persistent work toward the goal.


In June of 2012, leading technology companies and universities took this to heart when they stepped forward with AMD to form the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation. Today the journey is not over, but the Foundation has certainly reached an important milestone: the release of the HSA 1.0 specifications.

So, while the membership of the Foundation takes a moment to savor this important accomplishment before moving on to the next task ahead, what does this mean to the rest of us?

First, let’s briefly summarize why the Foundation came to be in the first place. At its most expansive and visionary, the goal of the HSA Foundation is to change the formula for computing forever. In more specific terms, as explained here in a recent EE Times article, the members joined together to drive the creation of a new architecture that advances and promotes heterogeneous systems, and to help bring HSA-enabled platforms and software solutions to market.

Is it coming to fruition? You better believe it.


Let’s review what is now available on http://ift.tt/1ioYyQo. The newly-approved specification comprises the key elements which improve the programmability of heterogeneous processors, the portability of programming code and interoperability across different vendor devices.


These include:

  • The HSA System Architecture Specification that defines how the hardware operates;
  • The HSA Programmers Reference Manual (PRM), that targets the software ecosystem, tool and compiler developers;
  • The HSA Runtime Specification that defines how applications interact with HSA platforms.


You can program to the HSA specification in higher level languages already, the C++ compiler is available today, as are the Python compiler and the OpenCL™ 2.0 stack. In addition to the programmer focused elements above, AMD is the first member to be delivering the hardware. “Kaveri-based” HSA development platforms are available today and we will deliver “Carrizo” by mid-year.  The HSA Conformance tests are under development by the HSA Foundation now, and we expect “Carrizo” to become the first product in the world that can claim compliance with the specification!


So perhaps in conclusion, we should look to another insightful philosopher, from Greece this time, whose words can serve as a well-deserved pat on the back for the Foundation and its members who took that first step.


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle


Manju Hegde, corporate vice president at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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AMD – Arming the Online Gamer

As the program manager for AMD’s online gaming marketing activities, I have spent a lot of time researching online gaming and eSports and one thing is very evident: it is booming and shows no signs of slowing down. AMD recently surveyed over 13,000 passionate gamers and 85% percent of them game over 10 hours a week, while 54% watch over 5 hours of online gaming weekly. MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games have also surged in popularity, with over 27 million daily League of Legends players1 and over 10 million Dota 2 players last month.2


AMD uniquely serves the needs of your customers who game or watch online gaming with products and features that offer extraordinary performance and experiences. AMD A-Series A8 and A10 APUs with internal Radeon™ R7 graphics offer superb performance on all the most popular MOBAs for the beginning online gamer. Our A8-7650K APU performs at an impressive average of 60 fps on League of Legends, while the A10-7850K APU provides a stunning average of 96 fps on Counter Strike: Global Offensive and an average of 56 fps on Team Fortress 2.3


For your gaming customers who need the firepower to play more resource-intensive AAA titles, Radeon R7 discrete graphics offer budget-conscious gamers the ability to play the latest games at high frame rates for an amazing visual experience. The AMD Radeon R7 260 and the Radeon R7 260X graphics cards offer optimal performance and power efficiency, the ability to play on multiple monitors and 4K-quality MOBA gaming.


All of the aforementioned products provide support for AMD FreeSync™ Technology. AMD FreeSync is what your gamer customers have been waiting for – a solution that eliminates screen tearing without the usual lag and latency.4 Rather than delivering frames at intervals that exactly fit the monitor’s refresh rate, AMD FreeSync lets the graphics card control the refresh rate. This eliminates large jumps in frame rate for noticeably smoother gameplay.


AMD has long been a leader in gaming. Our processors, APUs and graphics cards have been the foundation of gaming systems for years. In addition, AMD Radeon™ graphics deliver world class performance and breathtaking image quality in the world’s top gaming consoles including the Microsoft Xbox® One, Sony PlayStation® 4, and Nintendo® Wii U™. AMD equips you with great components for your gaming customers, regardless of whether they strictly play MOBAs or the latest AAA titles.



  Andy Thompson, Product Marketing Manager, Worldwide Channel Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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Why bother with a professional graphics card?

Why bother with a professional graphics card?


One of the great – and terrifying – things about computing is the sheer rate of change. What is the expensive high end today, a moment later becomes the minimum necessary for reasonable performance. Both the rate of development and the ability of the technology industry to feed innovations and improvements down to lower and lower price points is stunning.

The pay-off for this, of course, is the democratization of technology. A decade ago, taking video footage and editing it to a good standard was a task for professionals. Computer-aided design (CAD) was something you did in a design studio, and virtual reality was more virtual than reality. Today however, the value PC you buy from the shop around the corner can cut, splice, add after effects and output to a quality that was previously the domain of high end post-production houses and newsrooms.

This gives rise to a legitimate question: why bother buying the latest and greatest when the mid-range is perfectly capable? I believe it’s a little more complicated than just a simple matter of price.


The difference between stellar experiences and mission critical

First, let’s establish what’s different between a consumer and professional graphics card. The average home or business use for a graphics card is not mission critical. Most business PCs, for example, might be used for standard office productivity applications – and consumer graphics cards are excellent for the job they are intended for. In fact, as time goes by, graphics cards are arguably more important than the CPU when it comes to handling quite a lot of the computational load the average user puts on their PC.

When it comes to the latest and greatest games, they are also easily handled, as graphics cards are truly keeping pace with everything the gaming industry throws at them. The bottom line is that the experience offered by consumer graphics cards today are perfect for consumers.

Professional graphics needs, however, are different. They might be used in a multi-GPU installation in a data center for processing huge chunks of information. They might be used for a CAD application tasked with building the design for the next range of high performance cars. They might be rendering the next big Hollywood blockbuster movie. All of these are what we’d call business critical applications, and all of these rely on predictable performance that works reliably every time.


The older the better?

There’s another element to this reliability story; most business-critical workstations are built from the ground up with a certain specification. Change that spec, and the whole process needs to be reworked again.

Having access to older solutions, counter-intuitive as it might sound in today’s world, is actually vital. This is one of the reasons why NASA very rarely updated any of the technology in the space shuttle: it worked, and worked reliably and predictably. When the slightest change could mean catastrophe, the focus must be on having a known solution, not a new one.

With the high costs of planning and implementation for mission critical applications, it’s more important to replace professional graphics cards with something exactly the same as opposed to different solutions that may be incompatible with the application you’re running. Therefore, having a longer warranty is vital – for example, AMD FirePro’s warranty is three years. Additionally, access to such products for a longer period of time is equally important – exemplified by AMD FirePro offering two to five years availability.

Finally, there’s the software drivers and interoperability. The makers of professional software programs are very keen to maximise the performance of their applications, and spend a great deal of time making sure the programs are optimised for professional-grade workstations and components. You can be sure, with applications like Autodesk Maya™, Adobe After Effects and AutoCAD running on an AMD FirePro graphics card, the hardware and software are built to run together.





The consumer contrast

Consumer grade cards offer their own benefits and are built for specific purposes; they are priced affordably for consumers, and the technology receives regular refreshes and can be blazingly fast for the money. They are created for the everyday needs of users today, offering performance gains and speed for everyday use. In particular, because game developers are constantly pushing the innovation window, the consumer graphics card market is required to keep pace and does so to the benefit of consumers.

  In a nutshell, graphics cards should be fit for purpose. There are plenty of reasons to choose a consumer-grade graphics card; but when it comes to mission critical applications, the benefits to going pro are more highly prized by businesses than raw performance.  Dependability, interoperability and a sustainable long term model – those are the vital elements that make sure the initial investment in pro graphics delivers reliably for years to come.

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One of Mantle’s Futures: Vulkan

glnext-logo.pngSince the advent of Mantle, gamers widely believed that Mantle would become an industry-standard graphics API or, at the very least, inspire successors that would offer similarly powerful benefits to hardware beyond AMD Radeon™ graphics. Many hoped that Mantle would come to OSes beyond Windows, too. These voices weren’t wrong: those were our goals, too!


The recent arrival of those oh-so-inspired successors has subsequently honed this chatter to one question: “What does Mantle do now?” AMD has cryptically replied—with very good reason—that Mantle’s destiny is openness and coexistence. Today we’re ready to be clear on one aspect of what that means.


The cross-vendor Khronos Group has chosen the best and brightest parts of Mantle to serve as the foundation for “Vulkan,” the exciting next version of the storied OpenGL API.



OpenGL has long and deservedly commanded respect for being a fast, versatile and wide open API that works on all graphics vendors across multiple operating systems.


Meanwhile, Mantle has seen acclaim for many improvements in gaming and game development: higher framerates, reduced rendering latency, reduced GPU power consumption, better use of multi-core CPUs, and re-pioneering new features like split-frame rendering.


Vulkan combines and extensively iterates on these characteristics as one new and uniquely powerful graphics API. And as the product of an incredible collaboration between many industry hardware and software vendors, Vulkan paves the way for a renaissance in cross-platform and cross-vendor PC games with exceptional performance, image quality and features.



“Open” and “flexible” technologies are an essential piece of AMD’s DNA, and we have a long history in supporting those ideals. Our co-development of the Vulkan API through contributions like Mantle is another chapter in that open technology tale for AMD, an exciting evolution of Mantle, and a big step forward for PC gamers alike.


Stay tuned for more information on the specifics of Vulkan from the Khronos Group! We’ll be working hard to make it a fascinating story in the meantime.


Robert Hallock is the Head of Global Technical Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

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AMD Accelerated Processing Units: The World’s Best SoCs For DirectX® 12

apu-desktop-notebook-tablet-Banner.pngGreat gameplay isn’t an accident—it’s built. Every chip is years in the making: the child of keen industry forecasting, of expert engineering, of collaboration with top game devs, and of the unrelenting thirst to win. When designing the AMD APUs, great gameplay was top of mind. But the “proof is in the pudding,” they say, and recent testing by Anandtech had all the proof anyone could need: the AMD A10 and A8-7000 Series APUs crushed the competition in head-to-head DirectX® 12 performance testing using StarSwarm by Oxide Games.


I encourage you to read the complete article, but let me summarize and digest the data for you:

  • Migrating from DirectX® 11 to DirectX® 12 yielded an average framerate improvement of 41.2% for the APUs tested by Anandtech. The competition’s average? Just 3.25%.
  • In batch submissions, measured by the time it takes to bundle and process large bodies of graphics work, AMD A-Series APUs were 41% faster at the job.
  • In fact, AMD A-Series APUs were 12.5x faster at processing a batch submission in DirectX® 12 as compared to DirectX® 11. The competition was only 10x faster in the same scenario.


These three data points reveal a great deal about the harmony between compatible AMD APUs and DirectX® 12. Not only were the AMD APUs faster than the competition in absolute framerates, they delivered more fidelity, did it more efficiently, and demonstrated greater benefit from the switch to DirectX® 12 than their opponent.


That’s a flawless victory for an extraordinary family of SoC designs that lie at the heart of world-class devices like the Xbox One™, PS4™, laptops, desktops, ultra-thins, HTPCs, arcade machines, airliners, and a breathtaking array of other devices.


Speaking of compatibility, all AMD APUs and GPUs based on the award-winning Graphics Core Next architecture are already DirectX® 12-compliant. Just install the Windows® 10 Technical Preview, grab the latest updates, and you’re ready to go!


Great DirectX® 12 performance is really that simple with AMD APUs.


Robert Hallock is the Head of Global Technical Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

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On APIs and the future of Mantle

AMD_Mantle_Logo.pngAMD’s Mantle Graphics API has gathered incredible momentum in its first year, gaining support from 5 advanced game engines and 10 premium applications.


Mantle has also revolutionized the industry’s thinking on low-overhead/high-throughput graphics APIs as a solution that does not compromise developer productivity. Compelling content was delivered on Mantle in historically quick time, paving the way for various graphics standards bodies to move forward with conviction on their own similar API standards and specifications.


We are proud of these accomplishments, and we have been inspired by everything we have learned along the way. We also haven’t forgotten the promise we made: openness.


AMD is a company that fundamentally believes in technologies unfettered by restrictive contracts, licensing fees, vendor lock-ins or other arbitrary hurdles to solving the big challenges in graphics and computing. Mantle was destined to follow suit, and it does so today as we proudly announce that the 450-page programming guide and API reference for Mantle will be available this month (March, 2015).


This documentation will provide developers with a detailed look at the capabilities we’ve implemented and the design decisions we made, and we hope it will stimulate more discussion that leads to even better graphics API standards in the months and years ahead.


Proud moments also call for reflection, and today we are especially thoughtful about Mantle’s future. In the approaching era of DirectX® 12 and the Next-Generation OpenGL Initiative, AMD is helping develop two incredibly powerful APIs that leverage many capabilities of the award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture.


AMD’s game development partners have similarly started to shift their focus, so it follows that 2015 will be a transitional year for Mantle. Our loyal customers are naturally curious what this transition might entail, and we wanted to share some thoughts with you on where we will be taking Mantle next:

  1. AMD will continue to support our trusted partners that have committed to Mantle in future projects, like Battlefield™ Hardline, with all the resources at our disposal.
  2. Mantle’s definition of “open” must widen. It already has, in fact. This vital effort has replaced our intention to release a public Mantle SDK, and you will learn the facts on Thursday, March 5 at GDC 2015.
  3. Mantle must take on new capabilities and evolve beyond mastery of the draw call. It will continue to serve AMD as a graphics innovation platform available to select partners with custom needs.
    1. The Mantle SDK also remains available to partners who register in this co-development and evaluation program. However, if you are a developer interested in Mantle “1.0” functionality, we suggest that you focus your attention on DirectX® 12 or GLnext.


As an API born to tackle the big challenges in graphics, much of this evolution is already well under way. We invite you to join AMD this week at Game Developer Conference 2015 to see not just the future of Mantle, but the future of PC graphics itself.


Raja Koduri is Vice President of Visual and Perceptual Computing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

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AMD G-Series SoC Powers Fujitsu’s Next Generation Mini-ITX System Design

The mini-ITX is a popular low power, 17×17 cm motherboard form factor that has been powering a whole range of designs, from complete system solutions for industrial customers to embedded PCs, which include Digital Signage and Thin Client applications, for over a decade now. Fujitsu Technology Solutions, an industry trusted system solution provider and leading vendor of industrial mainboards, once again turned to AMD Embedded G-Series SOC solutions to power their next generation Mini-ITX system design.


System solution providers look at a number of different elements when making purchasing decisions around new generation technologies to ensure they are optimizing their system solutions around Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).


The pin compatibility in hardware within the AMD Embedded G-Series SOC family across two generations is one of many key contributing factors that enabled customers like Fujitsu to extend their coverage. Our2nd generation product line, codenamed “Steppe Eagle”, gives customers true system scalability in their offerings and takes advantage of not only performance gains but realizes unique feature add-ons like support for configurable TDP (cTDP). In short, the enhanced power management features coupled with two generations of scalable offerings from AMD give hardware and system engineers flexibility in design with respect to thermals while minimizing costs.


Another important trend taking shape in Factory Automation is remote management. Remotely accessing enterprise servers and office computers for system health monitoring and maintenance have been a critical function within the IT infrastructure for many years. But these same systems have largely eluded embedded systems on the factory floor due to high costs of implementation and deemed resource intensive… until now. Many of the leading OEMs believe we are in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. Some affectionately call it the “Internet of Things of the Factory Floor”. The end goal for OEMs is to deliver a smart, intelligent and a connected factory floor. Remote management serves as a key enabler to deliver on the promise of a highly intelligent and sustainable factory floor. Factory floor workers can monitor system operations, push software/BIOS updates on the network remotely, among numerous other tasks, driving overall operational efficiency and maintaining factory uptime. AMD, an advocate for proprietary-free open-source solutions, adopted the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) as the ‘gold standard’ for Remote Management. For more information on AMD’s DASH implementation and supporting reference design, check out the webinar from my colleague Cameron Swen and white paper on AMD’s remote management implementation. More details on our own DASH implementation are available via AMD’s Embedded Developer Site. Solution providers like Fujitsu quickly saw the value in an ‘open-source’ royalty free implementation of DASH for remote management for applications like Digital Signage. With mobility on the rise, more customers are looking at differentiated technologies like Remote Management to deliver on their vision for the future.


This leads me to the next parameter in the TCO equation: supply. At AMD Embedded Solutions, we continue to listen to our customers’ pain points around their system solution. One recurring theme for Industrial customers is product shelf life and availability. AMD Embedded Solutions has developed a focused Product Longevity Program spanning APUs, SOCs and dGPUs to better serve our broader embedded customer base. The longevity program delivers a supply assurance program eliminating the need to do costly refreshes due to EOL product lines and further builds the relationship with AMD as a trusted partner delivering an optimized TCO solution.


Sameer Gupta is segment marketing manager, industrial controls and automation for AMD Embedded Solutions. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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How Do They Do That?

There have been several successful television shows dedicated to understanding the many great feats of engineering that have been accomplished. Medical breakthroughs, space exploration, technological marvels; we are fascinated by what we have been able to achieve. At the 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) conference, AMD revealed details on how we accomplished our latest engineering marvel – the upcoming “Carrizo” Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). The semiconductor industry has long relied on axioms of process technology, such as Moore’s Law and Dennard scaling, to drive improvements in device power and performance.  As these laws become more challenging, AMD is responding by implementing a wealth of power management and architecture improvements that in many cases deliver even greater benefit than traditional technology scaling. So, how do we do that?


Carrizo Real-estate

The new “Carrizo” microprocessor will include four “Excavator” processor cores and powerful AMD Radeon™ Graphics Core Next (GCN) cores.  With approximately the same area footprint as its predecessor “Kaveri”, “Carrizo” fits 29% more transistors (3.1 billion) onto a die. By utilizing a high-density library design, “Carrizo” achieves a 23% area reduction for the “Excavator” cores while still providing more transistors and more instructions per clock (IPC). The thermal density challenge of the smaller “Excavator” core is mitigated through intelligent floorplan placement and the use of lower leakage transistors. The area reduction for the cores enabled a larger area of the chip to be allocated for graphics, multimedia, and the integration of southbridge and AMD Secure Processor logic onto the APU. The increased footprint for graphics intellectual property (IP) was used to improve the compute performance of “Carrizo,” which is designed to be the world’s first heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) 1.0 compliant part. The multimedia IP has been enhanced with a new high-performance video decoder and double the video compression engines of “Kaveri”. This larger multimedia engine can transcode nine real-time 1080p video streams, an impressive 3.5× improvement over “Kaveri”.


Energy Efficiency and Power Consumption

HSA innovation from AMD saves energy by eliminating connections between discrete GPU and CPU processors, reduces computing cycles by treating the CPU and GPU as peers, and enables the seamless shift of computing workloads to the optimal processing component. HSA allows many workloads to execute more efficiently using GPU compute resources in addition to CPU resources providing better performance at the same energy consumption. Additionally, “Carrizo” moves the GCN cores to a separate conditionally-enabled power supply. This allows the graphics cores to operate at their optimal voltage, which can give a 20% power improvement over “Kaveri” with six GCN cores. “Excavator” supports AMD’s first implementation of adaptive voltage-frequency scaling (AVFS), an improved version of other adaptive voltage approaches. AVFS allows each part to self-calibrate and determine the optimal voltage for current operating frequency and conditions. Timing-margin prediction vs. actual timing margin indicates the ability of AVFS to set the minimum voltage required across the entire voltage range, resulting in up to 30% power savings. The full implementation cost of AVFS is under one percent of the core area. In addition to the area reduction, the “Excavator” core has achieved program goals by reducing power versus the previous “Steamroller” core by 40%!


So… How do we do that?

Through a multitude of impressive optimizations, AMD has been able to combine four “Excavator” cores, eight Radeon™ GCN cores, the southbridge, AMD Secure Processor technology for enterprise-class security and a HSA-1.0 design on a single “Carrizo” APU.  The new “Excavator” cores are smaller, more powerful and more energy efficient than the previous generation. The power optimized GCN graphics cores provide impressive performance-per-watt improvements. HSA capabilities enable new, more efficient applications. Multimedia throughput is improved by 3.5x, and hardware support for H.265 decode is included.  All of this is done without a change in process technology, and while holding the die size flat generationally. “Carrizo” is truly a feat of engineering, a great step toward AMD’s 25×20 energy efficiency goal and a testament to the AMD commitment to deliver great products.


To dig further into the details, check out the ISSCC 2015 AMD press release and presentation on the ISSCC page of the AMD website.


Kevin Lensing is Sr. Director, Client Product Management, Computing and Graphics for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

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The Industrial Internet is transforming businesses

Guest Post By Tommy Swigart, Global Product Manager COMExpress, GE Intelligent Platforms


At GE, we’ve already invested over $1 billion in making the Industrial Internet a reality. It’s here and now – and it’s transforming businesses around the world. Of course, its continued growth won’t be as the result of a single company’s effort and investment; rather, it will be because companies have worked together. No single company has every piece that’s needed.


Here’s a case in point. At GE, we’ve identified COM Express technology as a key building block within an infrastructure that brings together advanced computing, analytics, low cost sensing and new levels of connectivity. COM Express has three highly desirable attributes. It’s modular and easily upgradable; it’s an open standard; and, in the right hands, it’s capable of withstanding the rigors of deployment in the harshest industrial – and military – environments. That’s why COM Express is at the heart of GE’s next generation industrial PCs and automation controllers – machines that will deliver the underlying intelligence that will help drive the Industrial Internet.


One of the other beauties of COM Express technology is that it’s processor-agnostic; it can be a carrier for virtually any processor, making it hugely flexible and adaptable.


So: a customer came to GE, looking for a very challenging solution. He needed something with all the attributes of COM Express. He needed, however, to pair the COM Express carrier with a processor with very low power consumption – but with substantially more capability than is typically available from processors designed for such applications. The customer also needed the most compact package possible.


Not only that: rugged reliability, with maximum possible MTBF (mean time between failure), was also crucial to his application.


At GE, we’re fortunate to have a very close working relationship with AMD, and we were aware of AMD’s plans to launch their G-Series System-on-Chip (SoC). It had the attributes that we – and the customer – were looking for. Not only did it deliver the high performance/low power consumption needed by the application, but it also included much of the functionality that would otherwise need to be implemented on the underlying COM Express carrier. The impact of this, of course, is that the lower component count increases MTBF.


And so it was that the mCOM10-L1500 was born – a result of close cooperation between the teams at AMD and GE. AMD’s G-Series technology provided a combination of functionality and performance characteristics that enabled the development of a product uniquely suited to customer demands.



The Mini COM Express module mCOM10-L1500 offers high performance and ultimate durability needed for applications that operate in harsh environments.

The inherent reliability of the AMD G-Series SoC is complemented by GE’s fully rugged design. Onboard components are specifically selected for their reliability in demanding conditions, and are soldered to the board for maximum resistance to shock and vibration, while extended mechanical construction protects the module. The mCOM10-L1500 is also designed to accept conformal coating for even greater resistance to moisture, dust, chemicals and extremes of temperature.


Like all COM Express-based designs, the mCOM10-L1500 delivers lower lifetime cost of ownership, because upgrades to the processor – in response to changing application demands, or to leverage new generations of price/performance – are straightforward and minimize cost. It is also the case that, as the underlying carrier card that provides the required interfaces to the system does not need to be replaced at the time of upgrade, testing and requalification time, effort and expense are minimized.


A single, new product developed by the teams at GE and AMD will not, in itself, ensure the continuing growth of the Industrial Internet. It will take hundreds – thousands – tens of thousands – of additional new building blocks – but products like the mCOM10-L1500 will make a vital contribution to our growing ability to connect people, data and machines.



Tommy Swigart can be contacted at Thomas.Swigart@ge.com.


Tommy Swigart is Global Product Manager COMExpress at GE Intelligent Platforms. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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AMD FirePro Flies High At SolidWorks World 2015

Attendees of SolidWorks World 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona had the opportunity to witness AMD FirePro™ GPUs flying high alongside key industry leaders to promote our professional graphics features and how they benefit SolidWorks® customers.




At the week-long conference and exhibition, attendees from around the world discovered how AMD FirePro professional graphics cards provide customers with a professional graphics advantage based on innovation, performance and reliability. AMD FirePro graphics cards provide:

     • Simultaneous render & compute, up to six 4K display support¹, and intelligent power technologies.

     • Certification and optimization for over 100 industry-leading applications including SolidWorks

     • Rock-solid driver support and a three-year warranty with support for the latest APIs and PCIe® 3.0



Hardware solutions from workstation leaders Boxx, Dell and HP were present in the AMD booth and helped to promote AMD FirePro GPUs in a variety of demonstrations including real-time visualization, collaborating in 3D, professional graphics in the cloud, and support for embedded manufacturing.


Attendees were treated to the unique end-user customer participation of a high flying hang glider manufacturer, Wills Wing.





Producing about 700 hang gliders each year in up to 17 different configurations all hand made by a small team of dedicated enthusiasts, Wills Wing is a leading manufacturer of hang gliders. In addition to certifying each glider to industry standards the company completely assembles and test flies each one as a final quality check before it is dispatched to a customer.



Steve Pearson, Lead Partner and Chief Designer of Wills Wing said: “The AMD FirePro™ W7000 is phenomenal and now the AMD FirePro W7100™ GPU is giving me a further boost in speed. A couple of years ago such performance would have been completely out of our budget.”


Demonstrations provided details about the current AMD FirePro graphics cards with specific focus on advanced SolidWorks workflows and simultaneous engineering, combining complex CAD modeling with sophisticated rendering and simulation (CAM) with ESPRIT from DP Technology. Thoroughly tested, optimized and certified for SolidWorks 2013 and 2014, AMD FirePro professional graphics allow customers to get the most out of the application.


“Any 3D engineer or CAM programmer will tell you how graphical-resource hungry CAM software can be while requiring seamless integration with CAD software. Our collaboration with AMD lets us provide our ESPRIT CAM software users and the SolidWorks community with a fully-integrated and performance-optimized CAM solution — every second counts when you run compute-laded 3D simulations,” said Cédric Simard, Global Marketing & Communication director at DP Technology. “ESPRIT CAM software’s adaptive connection to SolidWorks also means any changes in the SolidWorks model are reflected inside ESPRIT and the G-code program. The combination of AMD FirePro graphics with ESPRIT CAM is a great solution for our customers.”



Attendees also discovered how AMD FirePro professional graphics feature a number of SolidWorks-specific optimizations to ensure designers and engineers get the most out of their workstation. For example, AMD FirePro graphics users can obtain accurate designs with the new GPU-accelerated transparency mode. Order Independent Transparency (OIT) provides a “pixel-accurate” representation of the model and its surrounding geometry and runs much faster than the traditional blended mode because it is accelerated by the AMD FirePro GPU. This creates a more practical transparent 3D viewpoint for designers to continuously work within, helping improve the user’s sense of “design intuition” and aid in better decision-making throughout the product development stages.



Learn more about the benefits of using AMD FirePro with SolidWorks







Antoine Reymond is an industry executive for Professional Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos.


¹4K content required. AMD Eyefinity technology supports up to six DisplayPort™ monitors on an enabled graphics card. Supported display quantity, type and resolution vary by model and board design; confirm specifications with manufacturer before purchase. To enable more than two displays, or multiple displays from a single output, additional hardware such as DisplayPort-ready monitors or DisplayPort 1.2 MST-enabled hubs may be required.  A maximum of two active adapters is recommended for consumer systems. 4K support requires 4K display and content. See http://ift.tt/1gqJlyV for full details.


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