At $3,999,was already the high end for the company's family of workstation graphics cards. But with the recent introduction of the Hawaii GPU to the Radeon R9 series of consumer boards, it was only a matter of time before joined the pro circuit.
That comes with the FirePro W9100, which hasn't been fully detailed by AMD, but we know enough to glean some important differences from its predecessor. The obvious starter is the upgrade at GPU from the previous Tahiti chip -- the number of stream processor will increase from 2,048 to 2,816 and the number of texture units will rise from 128 to 176.
The Hawaii GPU also takes advantage of version 1.1 of AMD's Graphics Core Next architecture, boosts the number of Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACEs) from two to eight, and adds 10GB more of video RAM to make the total a sizeable 16GB. AMD claims that it all adds up to multiple teraflops of computing power, along with the ability to handle up to six 4K monitors.
With the launch of the W9100, the company is also taking the opportunity to introduce the FirePro workstation certification program. Dubbing it a "visual supercomputer for your desk," AMD is looking for manufacturers to produce systems with up to two 8-core CPUs, a minimum of 32GB of RAM, and up to four W9100 cards. Depending on the configuration, the workstation will fall into either the CAD/digital content creation tier, digital video editing tier, or 4K color collection tier.
AMD will reveal the remaining specs for the FirePro W9100 next month, presumably including price. Since it's an upgrade on the W9000, expect a corresponding increase in cost.