AMD's future RD880 and RD890 chipsets will get an input/output memory management unit (IOMMU), DailyTech reported on Friday. This new unit supports memory address mapping and is usually found in high-end server hardware but in 2009 AMD will bring it to the desktop market.
The IOMMU connects a DMA-capable I/O bus to the primary storage memory of a PC. The memory management unit maps virtual addresses to physical addresses, similar to what a CPU memory management performs. Although presently there are few desktop applications that can benefit from IOMMU setups, the technology can greatly benefit virtualization applications.
AMD RD890 will offer few other features over the existing AMD 790 chipset, with the exception of a new of a cryptic "DirectX 10 accelerator."
To keep up with the new NVIDIA chipsets, AMD will launch an intermediate step between RX880 and the existing RX780 (AMD 770) chipset, dubbed RX780H. This new chipset is pin-compatible with AMD 770 and AMD 790X motherboards, and is actually the first to feature the DirectX 10 accelerator.
AMD declined to let DailyTech know if this means integration of a low-end GPU for "Hybrid" Crossfire, or something totally different. RX780H is scheduled for a Fall 2008 launch.