AMD unveils teraflop FirePro GPU

Six new workstation-grade GPUs from AMD.

AMD has launched a new line of workstation grade FirePro GPUs for users looking for high-end computational and graphics performance, one of which offers one teraflop of double precision performance along with support for error correcting code (ECC) memory.

At the top end of the spectrum are the FirePro W9000 and W8000 GPUs, which not only have the power to drive an incredible six 30-inch displays, but also the compute power to handle data-intensive applications such as computer-aided design (CAD), medical imaging, and digital content creation.

The W9000 delivers a teraflop of double precision computation, and an incredible four teraflops for single precision computations. 

"As professionals work with larger data sets that demand advanced visualization and complex models, they need a graphics solution that is fast, powerful, and reliable," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Graphics.

"Certified for today’s software applications, the new AMD FirePro workstation graphics cards bring a range of features and capabilities for professionals working in digital signage, broadcast graphics, CAD/CAE and M&E, delivering the ideal balance of power, performance and reliability at the right price point."

The most interesting aspect of these new cards is AMDs introduction of ECC memory. While ECC is of limited use on a standalone workstation, it comes into its own when applications are run across clusters, where there is an increased risk of flipped memory bits resulting in crashes or incorrect results.

The introduction of ECC to the FirePro line lends credibility to the rumors that AMD is planning to introduce server-grade GPUs.

The new GPUs are as follows:

GPU Target market FLOPs Memory Price
FirePro W9000 High-performance CAD, media designers, signage

4 TFLOPs single precision

1 TFLOPs single precision

6GB GDDR5 $3,999
FirePro W8000 High-performance CAD, media designers, signage

3.23 TFLOPs single precision

806 GFLOPs double precision

4GB GDDR5 $1,599
FirePro W7000 Mid-range CAD, media designers, signage

2.4 TFLOPs single precision

152 GFLOPs double precision

4GB GDDR5 $899
FirePro W5000 Mid-range CAD, media designers, signage

1.27 TFLOPs single precision

80 GFLOPs double precision

2GB GDDR5 $599

Along with the W-series FirePro GPUs, AMD has also released two new APUs -- the FirePro A300 and A320.

AMD FirePro A3XX-series APUs are the first single-chip processors solutions that are capable of delivering workstation-class visual computing performance. These new APUs offers OEMs the ability to build workstations that are not only smaller than currently being offered, but which are also energy efficient, and have low heat and noise levels.

FirePro A3XX-series APUs offer support for horizontal display resolutions up to 10,240 x 1600 pixels.

Support for Discrete Compute Offload (DCO) allows additional compute capability to be added by using discrete AMD FirePro GPUs in parallel with APU graphics.

APU TDP Cores CPU clock Stream Processors GPU clock Unlocked
FirePro A300 65W 4 4 GHz / 3.4GHz 384 760 MHz No
FirePro A320 100W 4 4.2 GHz / 3.8 GHz 384 800 MHz Yes

FirePro hardware is supported on Windows 7/Vista (64- and 32-bit), Windows XP (32-bit), SUSE Enterprise Desktop Release 11.4 and 11.5 (64- and 32-bit), Ubuntu Release 11.04 and 11.10 (64- and 32-bit).

Nvidia has also released new workstation GPUs, the Maximus, which the company claim are the " world's fastest, most efficient " workstation GPU.

Image source: AMD.