AMD HTX Co-processor technology

Posted on Friday, Jun 02 2006 @ 00:52 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD is going to open up their HT architecture and one of the interesting things about this was a discussion of co-processors at AMD's analyst day:
With AMD opening up their HT architecture, quick communication between their processors and a HTX card or socket could allow for media encoder co-processors that can accelerate media encoding by up to 10-100 times, and interestingly, physics acceleration was mentioned. Does this mean that Ageia PhysX technology could get a boost in being able to plug into this architecture? Or perhaps there’s a dark horse option waiting in the wings that we could see in the future? Certainly, at the very least, specialized and high performance FPUs could be plugged in to reach an even higher level of immersion in games or special effects used in movies.

While I was writing this, Cray began to talk about how they could plug in specialized FPGAs DIRECTLY into an AMD Opteron socket, allowing for seamless communication between the two technologies. No special changes to the architecture were necessary. Further slides showed the possibility of using a slot similar to PCI-Express to expand functionality. Eitherway, using HT links that allow for lower latency and high bandwidth access directly to the CPU look like it could bring some exciting developments to PC platform processing power.
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About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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