AMD’s legendary ATI Fire GL brand, which was made famous by Diamond Multimedia ten years ago, is no more. AMD has rebranded its professionalgraphics card family to ATI FirePro and at the same time launched two newcards, the FirePro V3700 and FirePro V5700.
The dropping of the ‘GL’ from the ‘ATI Fire’ brand is significant as itsname was originally inspired by OpenGL, which has been the standard for 3D graphics in CAD applications since the early nineties. However, in recentyears OpenGL has been losing ground to Microsoft’s Direct3D technology with a number of software vendors, notably Autodesk, going down this route.
It would appear the rebranding is a direct result of this trend.In terms of the new cards, the ATI Fire Pro V5700 features 512MB of memory, dual link DVI and DisplayPort connections, and its true 30-bit display engine produces more than one billion colours at any given time.
This will be of particular interest to product designers for the most accurate colour reproduction, as long as they are using a compatible 30-bit monitor. For the Fire Pro V3700 ATI has followed the lead of Nvidia by introducing a professional card with an aggressive price point of below $99. The cardfeatures 256 MB of frame buffer memory, two dual-link DVI connectors.
Meanwhile, Nvidia is gearing up for its inaugural NVISION event in August,which will offer nearly 80 hours of technical and industry sessions forprofessionals in areas including automotive, high performance computing, andprofessional visualisation.
Among the bizarre array of celebrities atending the event (including Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Battlestar Galactica actress Tricia Helfer) Bernard Charles, president and CEO of DassaultSystemes, will give a presentation, offering insights into ‘what’s next’ for creative professionals.