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Aug 28 2018

AMD Announces Server Graphics Card for Datacenter Visualization Workloads

Practically on the heels of its latest Threadripper flagship CPU, Intel's old and new nemesis takes on another long-standing rival, in this case GPU market leader NVIDIA, with a fresh line of graphics cards developed specifically for virtualized environments and workloads.

Christened the Radeon™ Pro V-series, the new GPUs are supposed to round out AMD's set of professional graphics offerings optimized for 2D/3D design, AEC, BMI, CAD or AR/VR scenarios, which currently consists of the Pro WX, Pro Duo and Pro SSG product lines. According to the official press release, they will be particularly useful in VDI setups powering the aforementioned applications.

The trailblazer for the new series is the Radeon™ Pro V340, a double-slot, full-height PCIe 3.0 x16 add-in card for datacenter servers that's currently on display at this year's VMworld US in Las Vegas. Technically a dual-GPU design building on the company's Vega microarchitecture that debuted last year, it sports a 14 nm FinFET lithography and was the first to rely on HBM2 technology. According to the pre-release product page, the Radeon™ Pro V340 packs 112 compute units with a total of 7,168 stream processors into an ultra-dense design equipped with 32 GB of HBM2 memory; total memory bandwidth amounts to 484 GB/s.

Another boon is the inclusion of MxGPU, AMD's hardware-based virtualization solution that delivers high-end graphics functionality to up to 16 users/VMs per single GPU using the SR-IOV (Single-Root I/O Virtualization) industry standard. This means the Pro V340 can effectively power up to 32 VMs, each equipped with 1 GB of graphics memory – NVIDIA's Tesla P40, which competes in the same performance class, currently handles 24 VMs. Other 'goodies' include an integrated encode engine, which helps to encode independent video streams into the H.264 and H.265 formats; an ultra-fast frame buffer designed specifically for fast-paging apps; a built-in security processor that protects the boot process and provides encrypted storage capabilities; ECC support; and better energy efficiency than can be found in rivaling models.

The AMD Radeon™ Pro V340 is scheduled for release in Q4/2018, most likely around the time of the VMworld Europe in November. Pricing information was not yet available at the time of writing.


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