HEAT SINKS and double the memory of previous models are the key changes to AMD's dual-slot Firestream 9370 graphics card and the single-slot 9350.
The cards will also use AMD's Stream General Processing over GPU (GPGPU) capabilities that first came out last year with the consumer ATI Radeon HD 5870. The Stream GPGPU allows the graphics card to help perform multi-threaded processes normally assigned to the CPU.
According to Patricia Harrell, director of Stream computing at AMD, these two cards aim to take the GPGPU concept beyond specialised in-house platforms and extend it to standards such as the OpenCL architecture.
The move to set standards will allow developers to better use the power of the GPU, and AMD is hoping to take Stream beyond traditional high-performance computing environments and into larger markets.
This could expand the role of the Firestream graphics cards from markets such as financial analysis, physics simulations and geological modelling into the likes of cloud computing and server-based graphics modelling. µ