AMD on Thursday announced its AMD FireStream processor, which is designed to allow for parallel computing performance found in graphic chips. The chip is tailored for scientific and engineering calculations.
In a nutshell, AMD's FireStream 9170 Stream Processor and its software development kit are designed to allow for parallel processing. In other words, data can flow through a chip on parallel paths and allow for better performance with less heat. While this technique is common in graphics chips it's now moving into the high-performance computing (HPC) market.
AMD, a charter member of HP's HPC Accelerator Program, said it plans to deliver both the developer kit and the chip in the first quarter of 2008. AMD portrayed FireStream as the result of combining the chipmaker's expertise in high performance computing with the intellectual property acquired from ATI.
As for pricing, FireStream will run you $1,999 and feature 500 gigaflops of computing power. AMD said it consumes 150 watts of power.
I'm no expert on stream processing so here are some pointers to get more insight.