AMD has spent the last few years doing the rounds with many of the leading CAD/CAM/CAE software developers. Its FirePro professional graphics team has helped optimise the graphics engines in a whole range of applications including CATIA, SolidWorks, Vero and EdgeCAM.
The first is a general increase in viewport performance through the implementation of Vertex Buffer Object (VBO) technology. Already used in SolidWorks and CATIA, VBO technology is an OpenGL feature that loads model geometry up to the graphics card to boost performance. When comparing PTC Creo Parametric 2.0 to Wildfire 5, AMD claims a 400% increase in shaded 3D frame rates and interactivity with AMD FirePro professional graphics cards.
The biggest gains, however, come from a new hardware-accelerated transparency feature called Order Independent Transparency (OIT). AMD claims that with OIT users can experience 900% faster performance in 3D transparency with AMD FirePro professional graphics cards. There are also benefits to image quality, says AMD, with OIT delivering more accurate viewport rendering than the previous transparency modes – blended and stippled.
According to AMD, there are also big benefits to workflow. With the increased levels of performance with OIT users can now “edit in place” i.e. at the assembly level without having to open a part window.