AMD Set to Release Free Software Giving Millions of ATI Radeon™ Owners New Way to Run Demanding Computing Tasks Faster than Ever
AMD today announced that starting next month, the company plans to release for download a free ATI Catalyst™ driver update that instantly unlocks new ATI Stream acceleration capabilities already built into millions of ATI Radeon™ graphics cards.
ATI Stream is a set of advanced hardware and software technologies that enable AMD graphics processors (GPU), working in concert with the system’s central processor (CPU), to accelerate applications beyond just graphics. This results in better balanced platforms capable of running demanding computing tasks faster than ever.
ATI Stream-enabled software titles for entertainment, gaming and productivity are being released or are under development by a growing list of independent software vendors (ISVs) including ArcSoft and CyberLink.
To give users immediate benefit from ATI Stream, AMD also plans to release in December a free downloadable version of its ATI Avivo™ Video Converter utility. This intuitive, easy-to-use application enables transcoding of HD video up to 17 times faster than with the CPU alone, in tests performed using an ATI Radeon™ HD 4850 graphics card.
“ATI Stream is one of the best examples of the power of Fusion, and today’s announcement is the first major step in taking this important new technology mainstream,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “For the millions of people that have already purchased an ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card, this is one more way we’re saying thank you and helping them get more out of their investment. For those who haven’t yet, it’s one more reason for them to go online right now and buy one.”
ATI Radeon graphics processors from AMD are already found in millions of PCs around the world, each running the ATI Catalyst software driver. In the past 12 months, the various ATI Catalyst driver packages have been downloaded 48 million times, averaging nearly four million downloads each month.
The next ATI Catalyst release is version 8.12. AMD has begun distributing a beta version to its hardware and software technology partners for testing, with the final version scheduled to be released for download on or around December 10.
Once installed, the driver package automatically turns on the ATI Stream acceleration capabilities within ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series graphics cards. This will have the immediate effect of allowing any ATI Stream-enabled application to run faster, with no special effort required by consumers to enable this technology. As always, expert users will have the ability to customize their ATI Catalyst driver install options.
Users can then download and install the free ATI Avivo Video Converter. In tests performed using this utility, AMD was able to convert an hour of video to a portable player format in about 12 minutes. Combined with one of the recent ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card offerings, the ATI Avivo Video Converter helps deliver video conversion at up to twice the speed of competing solutions, at just over half of the suggested retail price. A growing number of ISVs are also lining up to provide ATI Stream-enabled applications, including ArcSoft, a leading provider of innovative digital imaging technologies and multimedia solutions. The company plans to provide an update in December to its TotalMedia Theatre application that will includes ArcSoft SimHD™, a new type of post processing technology that allows consumers to experience close-to-HD viewing of standard definition content thanks to ATI Stream.
Another is CyberLink, an innovative software developer for digital media creation, playback, sharing, and enjoyment applications, has optimized its award-winning video editing software, PowerDirector 7. PowerDirector provides a robust set of features and functionality for capturing, editing and distributing HD video. The updated version, which is scheduled to be released in Q1 2009 will include ATI Stream accelerated video conversion, featuring performance and functionality exceeding that of the Avivo Video Converter.
To ensure easier development of ATI Stream enabled applications capable of running on platforms from multiple vendors, AMD is a member of the Khronos working group defining the OpenCL standard, and is evolving the ATI Stream SDK to be fully OpenCL compliant.
About ATI Stream
ATI Stream is a set of open AMD technologies that allow the hundreds of parallel Stream cores inside AMD GPUs to accelerate general purpose applications, resulting in platforms capable of delivering dramatically high performance-per-watt. The freely distributed, fully open Stream SDK allows programmers to make advanced use of AMD hardware, and helps them to create fast, energy efficient applications on a growing variety of platforms and operating systems. For more information please visit www.amd.com/stream
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