SAPPHIRE IS PLUGGING AMD's next graphics driver release – Catalyst 8.12 – claiming it will make all recent generations of Sapphire graphics cards better, enabling them to make use of the on-board stream processors to boot.
Sapphire cards are, of course, based on ATI graphics technology and so ATI stream will apparently allow hundreds of parallel stream processors inside the latest generation GPUs to accelerate a number of general purpose apps.
The Sapphire HD 4870 and 4850 each count 800 stream processors, so by using GPGU, the firm claims they can be used, not only for graphics, but a lot more besides.
Sapphire reckons a multitude of software outfits are already clamouring to develop apps using stream processing for acceleration of digital image processing, noodling about with multimedia and, of course, gaming.
To prove the point, ATI has released a free downloadable version of its Avivo Video Converter, so that Sapphire video card users can be wowed by the ability to speedily transcode HD video between formats. µ