The AMD FirePro W-Series is a new generation of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) based on the advanced Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture with 28nm technology.
GCN is designed to use GPU cores much more efficiently than previous architectures, giving a significant performance boost in 3D applications.
With full support for PCI Express 3.0 plus increased memory bandwidth, the CAD-focused AMD FirePro W5000 (2GB) and AMD FirePro W7000 (4GB) can also load large models much faster.
The AMD FirePro W-Series is not just about powerful hardware. The professional grade driver features a number of application-specific optimisations to ensure designers and engineers get the most out of the GPU when running their chosen 3D CAD application.
For some CAD applications AMD FirePro also brings additional clarity and realism to designs through advanced real time visual effects.
Furthermore, due to the increased performance of the AMD FirePro W-Series, it is possible to turn on these complex graphics effects without losing interactivity with 3D data sets.
In addition to advanced 3D graphics the GCN architecture has been designed for compute, which offers significant benefits for users of OpenCL-accelerated simulation software. With the high-end AMD FirePro W8000 (4GB) and AMD FirePro W9000 (6GB) compute tasks can be offloaded from the CPU and executed in parallel to 3D graphics operations.
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The AMD FirePro team worked closely with DS SolidWorks to deliver optimised 3D performance and realistic graphics effects in SolidWorks 2013.
SolidWorks RealView brings models to life through advanced shading in real time. In SolidWorks 2013 it comes with Ambient Occlusion, which delivers outstanding depth and realism.
The technology helps streamline design workflows by reducing the need for time-consuming ray-trace rendering.
Full-Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) removes coarse edges from contours of geometries for even higher-quality visuals.
Both features are optimised for the AMD FirePro W-Series and are not available on consumer GPUs.
Due to the power inside the AMD FirePro W-Series they can also be turned on in SolidWorks permanently without crippling performance.
The AMD FirePro team worked closely with PTC to optimise the Creo 2.0 3D graphics engine . The advanced OpenGL optimisation (VBO — Vertex Buffer Object) increases the interactivity of large 3D models by processing geometry on-board the graphics card.
Creo 2.0 also features a new real-time GPU-accelerated transparency mode — Order Independent Transparency (OIT) — that is uniquely supported by AMD FirePro.
Compared to older methods for rendering transparency in the viewport, OIT renders the model a lot more accurately making it easier for users to perceive depth
OIT not only improves transparency effects, but 3D performance is significantly faster than with earlier transparency modes.
For example, OIT can be over 900% faster than blended transparency mode in Pro/E Wildfire 5.0.
AMD FirePro W-Series can be used to accelerate Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) calculations, such as those used in Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
These compute intensive processes are traditionally carried out by CPUs but the rise of the cross platform OpenCL API means they can now be executed across different types of multi core processors.
The AMD FirePro W-Series has been specifically architected to execute CAE calculations in parallel with graphics operations.
The AMD FirePro W8000 and AMD FirePro W9000 in particular, are ideally suited to CAE due to their large amounts of ECC memory and excellent double precision performance.
Abaqus from DS Simulia is one of the first major CAE tools to benefit from AMD FirePro GPUs.
There are many others in development, expected to arrive in 2013.
Optimised graphics for SolidWorks 2013, PTC Creo 2.0 and other leading CAD applications