AMD just announced the latest installment to their stream processor family. The FireStream 9170 is the worlds first GPU capable of computing double precision, floating point calculations. One of the major complaints of the scientific community when asked to utilize GPU technology in scientific applications was the lack of double precision on GPUs. Traditionally, GPUs were only designed for single precision arithmetic.
The FireStream is built upon a 55nm core with two gigabytes of GDDR3 memory [wow]. The card is pegged at hitting 500 GFLOPS while sipping150 watts. The whole package will set you back around $2000 US. The card should be available early next year.
GPUs have long been known for their immense parallel processing performance but many challenges still remain in driving widespread customer adoption for general purpose compute,” said Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research. “Leveraging its unique capabilities in high-performance CPU and GPU technologies, AMD is well positioned to drive an integrated hardware and software proposition that can deliver the best of both processing worlds to its HPC customers.”
AMD is also planning to release the FireStream Software Development Kit to accompany the card. The SDK will provide low-level hardware access via AMDs Compute Abstraction Layer [CAL]. The SDK will also come bundled with Brook+, a tool providing C extensions for stream computing [originally developed at Stanford].
UPDATE: AMD is scheduled to demo their FireSteam at SC07. More here.