AMD Eyefinity

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AMD Eyefinity
AMD Eyefinit Technology logo 2014.svg
Design firmAdvanced Micro Devices
IntroducedSeptember 2009
Typemulti-monitor or video walls
Multi-monitor setups are common with stockbrokers in financial market making.
Playing a racing video game on Single Large Surface (SLS) with a 5x1 portrait display group configuration at ExtravaLANza 2012 in Toronto.

AMD Eyefinity is a brand name for AMD video card products that support multi-monitor setups by integrating multiple (up to six) display controllers on one GPU.[1] AMD Eyefinity was introduced with the Radeon HD 5000 Series "Evergreen" in September 2009 and has been available on APUs and professional-grade graphics cards branded AMD FirePro as well.[2]

AMD Eyefinity supports a maximum of 2 non-DisplayPort displays (e.g., HDMI, DVI, VGA, DMS-59, VHDCI) (which AMD calls "legacy output") and up to 6 DisplayPort displays simultaneously using a single graphics card or APU. To feed more than two displays, the additional panels must have native DisplayPort support.[3] Alternatively active DisplayPort-to-DVI/HDMI/VGA adapters can be employed.[4]

The setup of large video walls by connecting multiple computers over Gigabit Ethernet or Ethernet is also supported.[5]

The version of AMD Eyefinity (aka DCE, display controller engine) introduced with Excavator-based Carrizo APUs features a Video underlay pipe.[6]


AMD Eyefinity is implemented by multiple on-die display controllers. The 5000-series designs host two internal clocks and one external clock. Displays connected over VGA, DVI, or HDMI each require their own internal clock. But all displays connected over DisplayPort can be driven from only one external clock. This external clock is what allows Eyefinity to fuel up to six monitors from a single card.

The entire HD 5000 series of products have Eyefinity capabilities supporting three outputs. The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition, however, supports six mini DisplayPort outputs, all of which can be simultaneously active.[7]

The display controller has two RAMDACs that drive the VGA or DVI ports in analog mode. For example, when a DVI-to-VGA converter is attached to a DVI port). It also has a maximum of six digital transmitters that can output either a DisplayPort signal or a TMDS signal for either DVI or HDMI, and two clock signal generators to drive the digital outputs in TMDS mode. Dual-link DVI displays use two of the TMDS/DisplayPort transmitters and one clock signal each. Single-link DVI displays and HDMI displays use one TMDS/DisplayPort transmitter and one clock signal each. DisplayPort displays use one TMDS/DisplayPort transmitter and no clock signal.

An active DisplayPort adapter can convert a DisplayPort signal to another type of signal—like VGA, single-link DVI, or dual-link DVI; or HDMI if more than two non-DisplayPort displays must be connected to a Radeon HD 5000 series graphics card.[7]

DisplayPort 1.2 added the possibility to drive multiple displays on single DisplayPort connector, called Multi-Stream Transport (MST). AMD graphics solutions equipped with DisplayPort 1.2 outputs can run multiple monitors from a single port.

At High-Performance Graphics 2010 Mark Fowler presented the Evergreen and stated that e.g. 5870 (Cypress), 5770 (Juniper) and 5670 (Redwood) support max resolution of the 6 times 2560×1600 pixels, while the 5470 (Cedar) supports 4 times 2560×1600 pixels.[8]


Feature overview for AMD graphics cards[edit]

All AMD GPUs starting with the Evergreen series support a maximum of 2 non-DisplayPort displays and a maximum of 6 DisplayPort displays per graphics card.[4]

The following table shows features of Radeon-branded GPU microarchitectures.

R100 R200 R300 R400 R500 R600 RV670 R700 Evergreen Northern
Released Apr 2000 Aug 2001 Sep 2002 May 2004 Oct 2005 May 2007 Nov 2007 Jun 2008 Sep 2009 Oct 2010 Jan 2012 Sep 2013 Jun 2015 Jun 2016 Jun 2017
AMD support Ended Current
Instruction set Not publicly known TeraScale instruction set GCN instruction set
Microarchitecture TeraScale 1 (VLIW5) TeraScale 2 (VLIW5) TeraScale 3 (VLIW4) GCN 1st gen GCN 2nd gen GCN 3rd gen GCN 4th gen GCN 5th gen
Type Fixed pipeline[a] Programmable pixel & vertex pipelines Unified shader model
Direct3D 7.0 8.1 9.0
11 (9_2)
11 (9_2)
11 (9_3)
11 (10_0)
11 (10_1)
11 (11_0) 11 (11_1)
12 (11_1)
11 (12_0)
12 (12_0)
11 (12_1)
12 (12_1)
Shader model N/A 1.4 2.0+ 2.0b 3.0 4.0 4.1 5.0 5.1
OpenGL 1.3 2.0[b] 3.3 4.4[c] 4.6 with GLSL 4.5 (Linux 4.5+)
Vulkan N/A Linux Mesa 17+
Win 7+: 1.0
OpenCL N/A Close to Metal 1.1 1.2 2.0 (2.1 in Windows Adrenalin, 1.2 in Linux)
Power saving ? PowerPlay PowerTune PowerTune & ZeroCore Power
Video decoder ASIC N/A Avivo/UVD UVD+ UVD 2 UVD 2.2 UVD 3 UVD 4 UVD 4.2 UVD 5.0 or 6.0 UVD 6.3 UVD 7[9][d]
Video encoding ASIC N/A VCE 1.0 VCE 2.0 VCE 3.0 or 3.1 VCE 3.4 VCE 4.0[9][d]
TrueAudio N/A Via dedicated DSP Via shaders
FreeSync N/A 1
HDCP[e] ? 1.4 1.4
PlayReady[e] N/A 3.0
Max. displays[f] 1–2 2 2–6
Max. resolution ? 2–6 × 2560×1600 2–6 × 4096×2160 @ 60 Hz 2–6 × 5120×2880 @ 60 Hz 3 × 7680×4320 @ 60 Hz[10]
/drm/radeon[g] Yes N/A
/drm/amdgpu[g] N/A Experimental[11] Yes
  1. ^ The Radeon 100 Series has programmable pixel shaders, but do not fully comply with DirectX 8 or Pixel Shader 1.0. See article on R100's pixel shaders.
  2. ^ These series do not fully comply with OpenGL 2+ as the hardware does not support all types of non power of two (NPOT) textures.
  3. ^ OpenGL 4+ compliance requires supporting FP64 shaders and these are emulated on some TeraScale chips using 32-bit hardware.
  4. ^ a b The UVD and VCE were replaced by the Video Core Next (VCN) ASIC in the Raven Ridge APU implementation of Vega.
  5. ^ a b To play protected video content, it also requires card, operating system, driver, and application support. A compatible HDCP display is also needed for this. HDCP is mandatory for the output of certain audio formats, placing additional constraints on the multimedia setup.
  6. ^ More displays may be supported with native DisplayPort connections, or splitting the maximum resolution between multiple monitors with active converters.
  7. ^ a b DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) is a component of the Linux kernel. Support in this table refers to the most current version.

Feature overview for AMD APUs[edit]

AMD Eyefinity is also available in AMD's APU branded product line. The A10-7850K is said to support up to four displays.

Brand Llano Trinity Richland Kaveri Carrizo Bristol Ridge Raven Ridge Desna, Ontario, Zacate Kabini, Temash Beema, Mullins Carrizo-L Stoney Ridge
Platform Desktop, Mobile Ultra-mobile
Released Aug 2011 Oct 2012 Jun 2013 Jan 2014 Jun 2015 Jun 2016 Oct 2017 Jan 2011 May 2013 Q2 2014 May 2015 June 2016
Fab. (nm) GlobalFoundries 32 SOI GlobalFoundries 28 SHP GlobalFoundries 14LPP (FinFET) TSMC 40 28
Die size (mm2) 228 246 245 244.62 250.04 210[12] 75 (+ 28 FCH) ~107 TBA 125
Socket FM1, FS1 FM2, FS1+, FP2 FM2+, FP3 FM2+[a], FP4 AM4, FP4 AM4, FP5 FT1 AM1, FT3 FT3b FP4 FP4
CPU micro-architecture AMD 10h Piledriver Steamroller Excavator Zen Bobcat Jaguar Puma Puma+[13] Excavator
Memory support DDR3-1866
Up to
3D engine[b] TeraScale (VLIW5) TeraScale (VLIW4) GCN 2nd Gen (Mantle, HSA) GCN 3rd Gen (Mantle, HSA) GCN 5th Gen[14] (Mantle, HSA) TeraScale (VLIW5) GCN 2nd Gen GCN 3rd Gen[14]
Up to 400:20:8 Up to 384:24:6 Up to 512:32:8 Up to 704:44:16[15] 80:8:4 128:8:4 Up to 192:?:?
Video Decoder ASIC UVD 3.0 UVD 4.2 UVD 6.0 VCN 1.0[17] UVD 3.0 UVD 4.0 UVD 4.2 UVD 6.0 UVD 6.3
Video Encoding ASIC N/A VCE 1.0 VCE 2.0 VCE 3.1 N/A VCE 2.0 VCE 3.1
GPU power saving PowerPlay PowerTune N/A PowerTune[18]
Max. displays[c] 2–3 2–4 2–4 3 4 TBA 2 TBA TBA
TrueAudio N/A Yes[20] N/A[16] TBA
FreeSync N/A 1
HDCP[d] ? 1.4 1.4
? 1.4
PlayReady[d] ? 3.0 (upcoming) ?
/drm/radeon[e][21][4] Yes N/A Yes N/A
/drm/amdgpu[e][22] N/A Yes[23] Yes N/A Yes[23] Yes
  1. ^ No APU models. Athlon X4 845 only.
  2. ^ Unified shaders : texture mapping units : render output units
  3. ^ To feed more than two displays, the additional panels must have native DisplayPort support.[19] Alternatively active DisplayPort-to-DVI/HDMI/VGA adapters can be employed.
  4. ^ a b To play protected video content, it also requires card, operating system, driver, and application support. A compatible HDCP display is also needed for this. HDCP is mandatory for the output of certain audio formats, placing additional constraints on the multimedia setup.
  5. ^ a b DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) is a component of the Linux kernel. Support in this table refers to the most current version.

Software support[edit]

Support for the Eyefinity display controller is available in the Linux kernel device driver amdgpu and accessible via the DRM/KMS API.

AMD Catalyst supports Eyefinity and enables the user to independently configure and run each attached displays. It facilitates the configuration of "cloned mode", i.e. to copy one desktop onto multiple screens or "extended mode", i.e. to span the workspace across multiple screens and combine the resolutions of all of those displays into one big resolution. AMD calls the extended modes Single Large Surface (SLS) and Catalyst support of certain range of display group configurations. For example, 5x1 landscape and 5x1 portrait are supported since AMD Catalyst version 11.10 from October 2011.[2][24]

Starting in Catalyst 14.6, AMD supports mixed resolution support, so a single Eyefinity display group can drive each monitor at a different resolution. This is provided through two new Eyefinity display modes, Fit and Expand, in addition to the existing Fill mode. In Fit or Expand mode, AMD compensates for mismatched resolutions by creating a virtual desktop of a different resolution than the monitors, and then either padding it out or cropping it as is necessary.[25]

AMD Eyefinity works with games that support non-standard aspect ratios, which is required for panning across multiple displays. SLS ("Single Large Surface") mode requires an identical display resolution on all configured displays. AMD validated some video games to support Eyefinity. The short list includes titles such as Age of Conan, ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Serious Sam 3: BFE, Singularity (video game), Sleeping Dogs, Assassin's Creed II, Sniper Elite V2, Soldier of Fortune Online, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, R.U.S.E., Supreme Commander 2 among others.[26] However, some games not on this short list seem to work as well, e.g. Dirt 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

KMS driver supports AMD Eyefinity.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMD's Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Reviewed". AnandTech. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  2. ^ a b "AMD Eyefinity: FAQ". AMD. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  3. ^ "How do I connect three or More Monitors to an AMD Radeon™ HD 5000, HD 6000, and HD 7000 Series Graphics Card?". AMD. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  4. ^ a b c d "Radeon feature matrix". Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  5. ^ "Configuring and Running a Large Video Wall using ATI FirePro Graphics" (pdf). Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  6. ^ "Carrizo introduces a new video playback pathways".
  7. ^ a b "AMD Eyefinity on AMD Radeon HD 5870". Tom's Hardware. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  8. ^ "Presenting Radeon HD 5000" (PDF).
  9. ^ a b Killian, Zak (22 March 2017). "AMD publishes patches for Vega support on Linux". Tech Report. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Radeon's next-generation Vega architecture" (PDF). Radeon Technologies Group (AMD). 13 June 2017.
  11. ^ Larabel, Michael (7 December 2016). "The Best Features Of The Linux 4.9 Kernel". Phoronix. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  12. ^ "The Mobile CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 13.0 Page 5 : AMD Mobile CPU Full List". Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  13. ^ "AMD Mobile "Carrizo" Family of APUs Designed to Deliver Significant Leap in Performance, Energy Efficiency in 2015" (Press release). 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
  14. ^ a b "AMD VEGA10 and VEGA11 GPUs spotted in OpenCL driver". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  15. ^ Cutress, Ian (1 February 2018). "Zen Cores and Vega: Ryzen APUs for AM4 - AMD Tech Day at CES: 2018 Roadmap Revealed, with Ryzen APUs, Zen+ on 12nm, Vega on 7nm". Anandtech. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  16. ^ a b Thomas De Maesschalck (2013-11-14). "AMD teases Mullins and Beema tablet/convertibles APU". Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  17. ^ Larabel, Michael (17 November 2017). "Radeon VCN Encode Support Lands In Mesa 17.4 Git". Phoronix. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  18. ^ Tony Chen; Jason Greaves, "AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture" (PDF), AMD, retrieved 2016-08-13
  19. ^ "How do I connect three or More Monitors to an AMD Radeon™ HD 5000, HD 6000, and HD 7000 Series Graphics Card?". AMD. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
  20. ^ "A technical look at AMD's Kaveri architecture". Semi Accurate. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  21. ^ Airlie, David (2009-11-26). "DisplayPort supported by KMS driver mainlined into Linux kernel 2.6.33". Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  22. ^ Deucher, Alexander (2015-09-16). "XDC2015: AMDGPU" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  23. ^ a b Michel Dänzer (2016-11-17). "[ANNOUNCE] xf86-video-amdgpu 1.2.0".
  24. ^ "AMD's Eyefinity Technology Explained". Tom's Hardware. 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  25. ^ "AMD Catalyst 14.6 beta adds new Eyefinity functionality". AnandTech. 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  26. ^ "AMD Eyefinity Validated and Ready Software".

External links[edit]