• Architecture

    by Published on 28-11-12 20:31  Number of Views: 20449 
    1. Categories:
    2. Architecture
    ZiiLABS was formerly known as 3DLabs Ltd., a renowned provider of in-house designed graphics accelerators and software for the professional OpenGL CAD/CAM/CAE markets.

    As Creative Technology, Singapore-based parent company of ZiiLABS announced on November 19th, they expect to close a deal with chipdesigner and -maker Intel Corporation in the current quarter ending December 2012. The subject of the deal will be various technologies and patents from ZiiLABS as well as engineering ressources from their UK-based headquarter. Intel will pay 50 million US-Dollar altogether and acquire non-disclosed engineering ressources of the UK sudsidiary of Creative Technology.
    ...
    by Published on 30-12-11 15:16     Number of Views: 25767 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture
    AMD Radeon HD 7970 - not unleashing the full potential of Tahiti?

    AMD's recent launch of it's latest and greatest, the Radeon HD 7970, despite taking over the single-gpu performance crown, left quite a few people wondering. Wondering, if that was all; wondering, if there might be performance left on the table somewhere in the drivers; wondering, if the focus on compute did cost to much gaming performance. This was especially true when comparing the number of transistors to it's predecessor Cayman, which already boasted an impressive 2.64 billion little transistors. Tahiti's number was far more impressive though and with 4312 million transistors broke the 4 billion mark. Now, a possible explanation has surfaced in a photograph of what looks like a product catalogue from AMD partner Sapphire.
    Update Jan 3rd, 2012 21:45: According to a story over at Brightsidenofnews.com, Chris Hook, currently „Head of WW Social Media and Ecosystem Communications” at AMD flat out denied, saying
    There are no hidden cores…


    ...
    by Published on 28-12-11 08:00     Number of Views: 23965 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture
    AMD Radeon HD 7970 - Tahiti XT

    AMDs recently launched Radeon HD 7970 brought the first installment of „Graphics Core Next“ in the shape of a 4.312 billion transistor processor code named Tahiti. With Graphics Core Next (or GCN for short) AMD has taken a radically different approach to compute than with their former Very Long Instruction Word (VLIW) based micro-architectures. The emphasize not only in the last sentence is on compute because that's the area were the new architecture is set to flex it's ALU muscles first and foremost - for graphics only, AMD remained adamant, VLIW was (and is) a very efficient way of cramping highly potent circuits on a small amount of die space.

    Gaming performance of the Radeon HD 7970 is somewhere between 25 tp 50 percent up from HD 6970 and somewhere from 10 to 30 percent above the former single GPU champ Geforce GTX 580 - no matter if 1,5 or 3 GiB. With that settled, let's take a look at Tahiti in it's XT version and dig a little deeper.
    ...
    by Published on 03-10-11 09:10     Number of Views: 6180 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture
    Intel Atom D2700 - Cedar Trail with less-than-anticipated capabilities

    With the official launch of Cedar Trail's desktop variants D2700 and D2500 just a few days ago, more and more details about the (ultra) mobile processor based on Intels Atom mircoarchitecture are starting to appear.

    While you can read about the chip's 1.86 to 2.13 GHz frequency, their 42 - 52 Dollar price, their 32nm manufacturing, their NM10 chipset and similar basics elsewhere, I am going to concentrate on some peculiar facts that either just surfaced or were confirmed through Intels data sheet for Intel's D2000 and N2000 series of Atom processors: The missing DirectX 10.1 support, (almost) no power management for the IGP or the limited video decoding support.
    ...
    by Published on 06-09-11 18:41  Number of Views: 21666 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture
    Modern Processors' Power Management

    Modern processors, be they of CPU, GPU, APU or SoC flavour, employ very sophisticated power management techniques in order to better leverage the full potential of their respective functional units in combination with the applied thermal solution. What sounds quite basic is indeed a multi-dimensional topic and can easily mess with any performance analysis that is not taking into account the specifics in each processor. In this article I am giving an outline what contributes to the power management in modern processors.

    A while ago - in IT-time quite an eternity - processors had a certain clock speed which they maintained during all operations. They had a fixed TDP that defined the necessary cooling solutions' capabilities to the fraction of a watt. Of course, power was quite low compared to more recent devices in the desktop space. Mobile devices, being much more dependant on a low power consumption, employed simple techniques like a reduced state for clock speed and core voltage as early as the turn of the millenium. With more recent devices, power has become a much more important issue in more than one respect - even in the desktop space. ...
    by Published on 24-07-11 13:11     Number of Views: 5765 
    1. Categories:
    2. Architecture
    AMD Company Logo

    AMD has published their quarterly earnings for fiskal Q2/2011 on July 21st and industry as well as analyst uptake seems to be quite positive on their performance and expectations for the future. One of the contributing factors next to the pretty successful line of APUs seems AMD's early transistion to 28 nm production for their GPUs - probably marketed as Radeon HD 7000 series - at TSMC's foundries. But with new Bulldozer performance figures, this respective outlook is not as great as it seemed earlier this year for AMD's new micro architecture still on schedule to be shipping in the third quarter 2011.
    ...
    by Published on 01-11-10 14:46     Number of Views: 8301 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture
    Radeon HD 6850, Catalyst 10.10 WHQL, AI Texture Slider "Quality", 16xAF

    Anisotropic texture filtering has been invented in order to improve image quality (not only) in 3D games. The improved image quality, however, has fallen victim not only to so called optimizations but from time to time also to hardware bugs, for example the banding encountered in the HD 5000 series, as was confirmed at the launch of AMDs brand new HD 6800 series of DirectX 11 compatible graphics processors. Today, I'll try and compare a bunch of screenshots from both the Radeon HD 6800 series (with Catalyst 10.10 WHQL) and Nvidias Geforce 400 Series (with Geforce 260.99 WHQL) and highlight some of the differences not only with the highest possible quality settings in the driver, but also the default quality in case of AMDs Radeon HD 6800.
    ...
    by Published on 31-10-10 13:26     Number of Views: 9696 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture,
    4. Benchmark
    Texture Filtering vs Villagemark - effect of so called optimizations on fillrate

    Filtered textures have been essential in the breakthrough of consumer-level 3D graphics acceleration 1.5 decades ago. With bilinear filtering applied (in addition to Mip-Mapping), Voodoo Graphics delivered smooth images of legendary 3D games such as Quake, Tomb Raider or Diablo. But despite they say „things change”, bilinear filtering still is the preferred method current hardware employs as a baseline. Now, trilinear filtering starting to become popular at about 1998, added in a second cycle smoothes out the transitions between one Mip-Map-level and another, while anisotropic filtering, which raised to fame around the year 2001, uses filter kernels with different dimension for each axis – hence the name: An meaning „not” and isotropic meaning „equal in all directions”.
    ...
    by Published on 04-10-10 18:07     Number of Views: 6885 
    1. Categories:
    2. Article,
    3. Architecture
    Scalar Instruction Issue Rate on GF104, GF106, GF100 and other GPUs

    GF104 seems to be generally regarded as the better Fermi for gaming since Nvidia has integrated some improvements into the oddly shaped graphics processor of its Geforce GTX 460 cards. For one, the chip itself is aimed at the performance segment, thus not being as large and as power hungry as the original GF100 from the start. It also has a much lower ALU-TEX ratio which is not desireable for high performance computing (HPC) or workstation cards where GF100 was targeted. 56 out of 64 texture mapping units (TMUs) are enabled in currently shipping products. On the downside, it has less shader units in general, having to make do with 336 instead of GF100s 480 - 448 - 356 in descending order for Geforce GTX 480, 470 and 465. They are organized differently too - instead of grouping 32 ALUs together, GF104 gangs 48 of them up into one Shader Multiprocessor (SM) along with various other units as eight TMUs, four Polymorph-Engines (PME), 16 Load/Store Units (L/S) and four units doing the more esotheric transcendental functions (SFU). But that is not all.
    ...
    by Published on 03-10-10 12:52     Number of Views: 6934 
    1. Categories:
    2. Architecture
    Xvox Demo Triangle Rate Geforce GTX 480

    When Nvidia presented its new Fermi architecture back in September 2009, Jen-Hsun Huang and his employees were particularly proud of one thing: Geometry. Rightfully they told all who would listen, that compared to the improvements in pixel and shading throughput, the triangle side of things seemed almost completely ignored by the IHVs since the introduction of the first DirectX 9 cards. That's not because in AMDs and Nvidias engineering teams the pixel fanboys outnumbered the triangle fanboys, but because it's actually a very hard thing to parallelize geometry. ...
    Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast