AMD FirePro

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AMD FirePro
AMD FirePro logo 2014.svg
Design firm Advanced Micro Devices
Type professional workstations
AMD DirectGMA (Direct Graphics Memory Access) uses SDI-Link. DirectGMA enables low latency peer to peer data transfers between devices on the bus and AMD FirePro GPUs. Devices supporting DirectGMA can write directly into the local memory of the GPU and vice versa the GPU can directly access the memory of a peer device.

AMD FirePro is AMD's brand for their graphics cards targeting the market of professional engineers, designers, animators and scientists. The product line includes certified device drivers to guarantee a stable and high performance workstation graphics environment on both Microsoft Windows® and Linux® 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.

The fields of occupation that the AMD FirePro products are being designed and certified for include: Engineering and design, i.e. Computer-aided design (CAD), Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), Computer-aided engineering (CAE), and Finite element method (FEM) flow visualization, Digital content creation (DCC) and Digital Media, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Geovisualization, Oil and Gas Exploration and also the Life sciences.

Supported software[edit]

The AMD FirePro product line and AMD's device driver for it, the AMD Catalyst, are advertised to officially support Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Maya, Dassault CATIA, Dassault SolidWorks, PTC Creo, Siemens NX and many more. Multi-monitor set-ups are supported by AMD Eyefinity, one graphics card can drive up to six monitors.

Products[edit]

Multi-monitor support[edit]

Main article: AMD Eyefinity

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[edit]

FireGL 4 video card

The FirePro line is designed for multimedia content creation programs, such as 3DS Max, and mechanical engineering design software such as Solidworks, whereas Radeon counterparts are suited towards video games. FirePro drivers were built with maximum image quality and pixel precision[citation needed], with CAD specific functionalities, such as the recently introduced AutoDetection Technology to tune the parameters inside the driver to achieve maximum performance for predefined list of software. However, because the drivers are also based on the Catalyst drivers made for the Radeon line, it makes them suitable for gaming, at the expense of probable compatibility issues with the very latest games, due to the age of the drivers, with FirePro cards in theory pushing more data than their Radeon gaming counterparts[citation needed].

Since the 2007 series, high-end and ultra-end FireGL/FirePro products (based on the R600 architecture) have officially implemented stream processing, which the Radeon line of video cards, although present in hardware, did not offer any support 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[edit]

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.

Soft-mods[edit]

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:

Radeon product GPU Corresponding FireGL soft-mod
Radeon HD 2900 XT (1 GB GDDR4 version) R600 XT FireGL V8600
Radeon HD 2900 GT R600 GT FireGL V7600
Radeon HD 2600 XT (512 MB GDDR4 version) RV630 XT FireGL V5600
Radeon HD 2600 Pro RV630 Pro FireGL V3600
Radeon HD 3850/3870 RV670 FireGL V77001 / FireStream 9170
Radeon HD 4870 RV770 FirePro V8700
*1 Radeon HD 3850/3870 products do not have the DisplayPort output presented on FireGL V7700 product.

History[edit]

The FireGL line was originally developed by the German company Spea Software AG until it was acquired by Diamond Multimedia in late 1995.[1] The first FireGL board used the 3Dlabs GLINT 3D processor chip.[2]

Deprecated brand names are ATI FireGL and ATI FirePro 3D.

See also[edit]

  • Nvidia Quadro – Nvidia's competing workstation graphics solution

References[edit]

External links[edit]