Entries tagged as: Display Port

AVR Depot & Multi Image Group drives Christie Digital MicroTiles using AMD FirePro W9000

Posted by Tony DeYoung on June 30, 2014

AVR Depot & Multi Image Group was at InfoComm 2014 showing a number of high resolution display wall solutions using AMD FirePro technology.  A single AMD FirePro W9000 drove a 3’ by 12’  Christie Digital MicroTile 3-tile display. The HD touch screen display at the front of the booth was also output from a FirePro card.  The two systems were networked together running Ventuz 4 software.

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High-end to mid-range update for desktop workstation graphics with AMD FirePro W series

Posted by Tony DeYoung on August 07, 2012
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AMD today launched the new W series FirePro lineup based on the 28nm GCN Architecture (unified graphics processing and compute cores). This new lineup uniquely provides both high-performance 3D as well as high-performance open standards compute.

Distinctive technologies include:

  • GeometryBoost ensures smooth handling of complex, highly tessellated models.
  • AMD HD3D Pro maximizes compatibility with both passive and active Stereographic 3D display solutions.
  • VCE multi-stream hardware H.264 HD encoder enables efficient and quick video encoding.
  • Support for the FirePro S400 synchronization module (W9000, W8000, W7000) enables accurate and consistent video synchronization to external sources or multiple GPUs in different systems.
  • Support for Partially Resident Textures on the W9000 and W8000 enables the use of huge texture files, up to 32 terabytes large, with minimal performance impact.
  • Support for Eyefinity, multi-display technology driving up to six, 30” HD displays via Multi-Stream Transport (MST) hubs for maximum workspace utilization at ultra-high 4096x2160 resolutions
  • Dynamic power management using AMD PowerTune technology and ZeroCore technology (essentially PowerTune manages clock speeds based on proximity to thermal design limit while ZeroCore completely powers the GPU down when the monitor is off and the rest of the system is in an active idle state).
  • Support for non-proprietary GPU-aware languages such as C++ AMP and OpenCL, offering a huge boost in GPU-accelerated tasks

The specs for the new cards are detailed below (Datasheets here).

AMD FirePro W9000

Target: High-performance CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage professionals

  • 6 GB error-correcting GDDR5 memory (264 GB/s)
  • 4.0 TFLOP single precision and 1.0 TFLOPs double precision floating point performance
  • DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 4.2
  • Supports OpenCL 1.2/DirectCompute/C+ +AMP
  • 6 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x Stereoscopic 3-pin Mini DIN for AMD HD3D Pro support
  • MSRP $3,999

AMD FirePro W8000

Target: High-performance CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage professionals

  • 4 GB error-correcting GDDR5 memory (176 GB/s)
  • 3.23 TFLOP single precision and 806 GFLOPs double precision floating point performance
  • DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 4.2
  • Supports OpenCL 1.2/DirectCompute/C+ +AMP
  • 4 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x Stereoscopic 3-pin Mini DIN for AMD HD3D Pro support
  • MSRP $1,599

AMD FirePro W7000

Target: Mid-range solution for CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage

  • 4 GB GDDR5 memory (154 GB/s)
  • 2.4 TFLOP single precision and 152 GFLOPs double precision floating point performance
  • DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 4.2
  • Supports OpenCL 1.2/DirectCompute/C+ +AMP
  • 4 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x Stereoscopic 3-pin Mini DIN for AMD HD3D Pro support
  • MSRP $899

AMD FirePro W5000

Target: Mid-range solution for CAD engineers, media designers, digital signage

  • 2 GB GDDR5 memory (102.4 GB/s)
  • 1.3 TFLOP single precision and 79.2 GFLOPs double precision floating point performance
  • DirectX 11.1t and OpenGL 4.2
  • Supports OpenCL 1.2/DirectCompute/C+ +AMP
  • 2 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x DVI outputs
  • 1 x Stereoscopic 3-pin Mini DIN for AMD HD3D Pro support
  • MSRP $599

DisplayPort 1.2 on new FirePro cards means accurate color, 4k displays, fewer ports, true 3D

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 24, 2011

New to the FirePro V5900 and FirePro V7900 is support for DisplayPort 1.2 that increase data transfer to 5.4Gbps High Bit Rate 2 (HBR2) mode, so you can drive 4K x 2K display with 30 bits per pixel over a single cable. With AMD’s HD3D 3D stereoscopy standard and DisplayPort 1.2,  3D monitors can go beyond full HD while maintaining a true 120Hz refresh rate (more bandwidth than either HDMI1.4a or DL-DVI so you could for example, play Blu-Ray 3D in a window).

Using a DisplayPort 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport (MST) hub, another advantage is that an Eyefinity-enabled card will be able to drive up to six HD resolution displays from just two DisplayPort outputs. So space constrained cards, will no longer be Eyefinity-constrained (e.g. laptops).

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AMD FirePro V7900 3rd generation high-end professional graphics card

Posted by Tony DeYoung on May 24, 2011
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The new AMD FirePro V7900 is based on the third generation of 40nm GPU (formerly codenamed Cayman) and features 1280 stream processors and 2GB GDDR5 memory.  It is a single slot solution with four built-in DisplayPort 1.2 outputs and with the use of the included four active adapters, supports single link DVI displays out of the box. This allows it to drive 4 displays simultaneously (Eyefinity technology). It also includes a stereoscopic 3-pin mini-DIN (with included expansion bracket) and supports Framelock/Genlock using the ATI FirePro S400 synchronization module.

The card supports the new PowerTune power management technology for dynamic clock optimization, and adds GeometryBoost which provides 2X transform and backface culling and 3X tessellation performance in OpenGL and DX11. Drivers support OpenCL 1.1. CAD application-certified OpenGL 4.1, and DirectX 11.  Additional professional graphics cards can be linked together using CrossFire Prot to enable CrossFire support for windowed applications, as well enabling up to 12 simultaneous Eyefinity displays (think video walls and digital signage on the cheap).

Full review on HotHardware“if you’re looking for a low power, multiple monitor solution for your 3D animation and rendering workloads, definitely check out the new FirePro V7900 and V5900 cards from AMD.”.
Also see Icrontic

PC Perspective review: nothing even close to the FirePro V9800 and its 6 DisplayPort outputs

Posted by Tony DeYoung on September 18, 2010

PC Perspective weighs in on the FirePro V9800 with it’s Eyefinity 6 HD display outpus. As they note, if you are looking at performance only, the Quadro 5000 is a competitor.  But the FirePro V9800 is clearly targeting developers and professional user interested in performance plus multi-displays to increase their productivity or even to create new workflow models for their business.

PC Perspective’s conclusion: “If you are in the market for a multi-display card, there is nothing even close to the FirePro V9800 and its 6 DisplayPort outputs except maybe AMD’s own V8800 with four.  AMD is hoping to capitalize on that customer need with a solution that can dramatically lower their costs and provide new development and display experiences. “

They also note: “Combining more than one V9800 card is possible using the FirePro S400 card - a small board that is responsible for synchronizing display outputs on multiple graphics cards.  Using the S400 a system can support up to four FirePro V9800s (or any other GPU) for a total of 24 outputs in a single PC!  While a set of four V9800 cards is going to be expensive ($14,000 or so), that cost is well below any other professional solution that provides that many display configurations.” 

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DisplayPort 1.2 to carry increased resolutions, higher refresh rates, deeper color depth, and 3D

Posted by Tony DeYoung on January 13, 2009

I’ve written a lot about the growing movement to DisplayPort. At CES 2009, it was announced that the new DisplayPort 1.2 standard will be adopted later this year. This new implementation will double the current bandwidth, to 5.4 GB, enabling increased resolutions, higher refresh rates (e.g. 120 fps images at 1080p to reduce loss of detail in fast movement), greater color bit-depth, and support for two separate image image streams to create stereoscopic 3D. It will also support multiple streams for multiple monitor support over a single connector. (Check out this PPT presentation from WinHec 2008 that overviews DisplayPort 1.2 for more info). Also included will be Apple’s Mini DisplayPort connector, which it has donated to the effort. 

DisplayPort now part of the MacBook lineup

Posted by Tony DeYoung on October 14, 2008
MacBook Air with Display Port

Apple today announced their new MacBook and MacBook Air lineups and they feature Display Port for video out.  I’ve written several Display Port posts about why this is makes particular sense for notebooks.  Foregoing inclusion of any legacy DVI or HDMI ports had to be a toughh choice. But Apple puts a premium value on keeping their form factor small, keeping power requirements low, and upping performance (e.g. driving their 30 inch display), so they went 100% Display Port - impressive

DisplayPort: the new kid on the block has a bright future - Part 3 of 3

Posted by Tony DeYoung on September 16, 2008

In Part 1 - Cost, I wrote about the inevitably of DisplayPort becoming the dominant display interface standard for PCs and handheld devices, if for no other reasons than cost:

  1. DisplayPort avoids the $10k/year license fee of HDMI
  2. DisplayPort direct-drive technology eliminates the cost for additional circuitry in computer displays

In Part 2 - Performance and Design, I reviewed some of the performance advantages of DisplayPort over DVI and to some degree, HDMI:

  1. DisplayPort uses direct-drive technology, enabling ultra-thin displays and a setting a common standard for laptop and stand-alone displays
  2. DisplayPort can drive 30-bit (billions) of colors at high-resolutions and high refresh rates
  3. DisplayPort uses smaller, latching connectors and can handle longer cables
  4. DisplayPort offers great flexibility in handling, video, audio and data
DisplayPort provides a bi-directional scalable data channel to support things like touch displays

In this third installment I want to look at DisplayPort in terms of its potential for future digital devices relative to DVI and HDMI.

Futures

Unlike DVI or HDMI, both of which include legacy technology for CRTs, DisplayPort was designed specifically to handle today’s digital displays and to be able to adapt to new features in the displays and devices of the future.

The 45-nm Holy Grail of Chip Size
Chip makers from Intel to AMD to Nvidia are striving to reduce die size to 45-nm and smaller in order to reduce power consumption and increase transistor count. However, a 45-nm process imposes a technical limitation of 2.5V maximum for I/O transistors. HDMI and DVI both use TMDS, which requires 3.6V when running high-speed signals (up to 5.25V for low-speed sideband signals).

The only way around this limitation for HDMI and DVI is to add proprietary, custom circuitry. This translates into increased complexity and increased cost.

DisplayPort in contrast, requires less than 2V for high speed signals, so it can be integrated with a standard 45-nm process - no custom circuitry, no added size, and no additional costs.

Picture-in-Picture and Daisy Chained Displays
As already discussed in Part 2 - Performance and Design, DisplayPort was designed as all digital and uses micro packets to bundle audio, video, and data information. This micro-packet protocol is designed to support more than one audio or video stream, as well as data - all over a single cable. The current DP specification allows for up to six 1080i streams or three 1080p streams. So in the future you should expect to see things like Picture-in-Picture or daisy chained-monitors without additional cables or circuitry.

USB, Webcams, and Touch-Sensitive Displays
DisplayPort not only offers a scalable data channel, it offer a bi-directional scalable data channel. This means that future implementations will be able to support microphones, webcams, USB hubs, or touch-sensitivity built right into the display - without additional cabling and circuitry (this would be especially valuable on laptops where physical space is at a premium).

Dongles and Backwards Compatibility
DisplayPort may be the future, but since a lot of us are dealing with existing displays, laptops and consumer-electronics devices, there will be a need for adaptor cables or dongles to bridge between HDMI/ DVI and DisplayPort.

DisplayPort already offer pass-through support for HDMI signals. So using the appropriate dongle you can hook up your DVD player or cable box to a DisplayPort monitor. Coming later this year, expect to see adaptors that will allow you to connect your DisplayPort video card, to an HDMI or DVI device.

Final Score Card
So let me update my score card:

FeatureDVIHDMIDisplayPort
Price+10+2
Sleeker Displays00+2
Smaller Connectors0+2+2
Resolution & pixel depth+1+2+2
Long cables0+2+2
Auto-tuning0?+2
Audio0+2+1
Smaller Chips00+2
Picture-in-Picture0+1+2
Webcams & Touch Displays00+2
Compatibility+1+1+1

While there is not a clear winner between HDMI and DisplayPort for today's market, in the near future the demands for the, cost benefits, performance, and scalable spec of DisplayPort will become more commanding. The FirePro line from AMD, as well as 30-bit color monitors from Dell and HP, are strongly embracing DisplayPort (but still hedging with at least one legacy DVI port) and I expect to see more card and display vendors move in this same direction next year.

Addendum: For the complete 3-part series on DisplayPort see:

FirePro v8700 accelerator offers 40% boost with GDDR5 memory & twin Display Port connectors

Posted by Tony DeYoung on September 11, 2008

For a while, it was feeling like the Radeon HD 4870 had taken the lead in advanced hardware over the FireGL line (CAD-optimized drivers and RAM aside). But today AMD updated its flagship FirePro workstation accelerator to offer the same technology that has made news in the Radeon HD 4800 series: 800 unified shader processors and GDDR5 memory. But the FirePro v8700 also brings 1GB video memory and optimized drivers for CAD, digital video editing, and 3D visualization. It also adds twin Display Port connectors for the latest generation of hi-rez, hi-refresh,  30-bit color rendering displays as well as a dual-link DVI connector for older monitors. AMD’s press release claims a 40% performance gain over previous FireGLs.

Display Port: performance advantages over DVI (and HDMI) - Part 2 of 3

Posted by Tony DeYoung on August 06, 2008

In Part 1, I talked about the inevitably of Display Port becoming the dominant display interface standard for PCs and handheld devices, if for no other reasons than cost:

  1. Display Port avoids the $10k/year license fee of HDMI
  2. Display Port direct-drive technology eliminates the cost for additional circuitry in computer displays

Cost aside, now I want to look at Display Port performance and features relative to the incumbents DVI and HDMI.
(Note: companies like Dell publicly contend that Display Port and HDMI will coexist to meet different product applications - but read in to what they say and you can't help but to compare!)

Ultra-thin displays

Display Port makes ultra-thin displays a reality
Already mentioned as a cost-reduction benefit, Display Port consolidates both external and internal display connections with direct-drive technology. From an aesthetics/performance angle this brings several significant advantages over DVI and HDMI.

  • Since there is no need for display circuitry inside of the display, manufacturers can build slimmer and sleeker displays - both external monitors and laptops displays
  • The LVDS display interface used inside of current notebooks can only scale to higher resolutions and color depths by using a wider cable. But you already have an increasing number of wires competing for space in the notebook display hinges. So thinner cables means thinner laptops.

Smaller connector
Display Port and HDMI offer more than twice the performance of DVI in a much smaller package than DVI connectors. And they are more user-friendly to connect - without screws!

Over 1 billion colors
Single-link DVI has enough bandwidth to display resolutions up to 1920x1200 with 8 bit color (up to 16.7 million colors) at 60 Hz. Dual-link DVI doubles the bandwidth to support a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 with 8 bit color at 60Hz.

HDMI 1.3 and Display Port both support a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 at 60 Hz with 10-bit color - that over 1 billion colors, enough to eliminate color banding and offer sufficient gamut to edit video destined for a digital cinema theater (check out the new HP DreamColor).

Longer cables
Display Port supports full bandwidth (2560×1600) transmission for cables up to 3 meters, and 1080p transmission for 15 meter cables - significantly greater than DVI (5 meters) and about the same as high-quality (but higher cost) HDMI cables.

Automatic fine-tuning
Display Port features a unique scalable bi-directional auxiliary channel that source-destination handshaking such as the display requesting stronger signal quality if the signal has too much jitter or interference. So you can have a feedback mechanism between the display and the source for automatic fine-tuning. On top of this, Display Port embeds the clock signal as part of the link stream. This means fewer wires so less RFI and better transmission.

Digital, Audio and Data
Like HDMI, but unlike DVI, Display Port can handle both audio and video (as well as data) over single cable. Since most computer displays do not include speakers, the value of audio in the stream for HDMI and Display Port is questionable for computer devices. But of course, support for audio is valuable for consumer electronics devices like TVs and it might end up be very valuable for things like digital projectors.

But unlike DVI or HDMI, Display Port is all digital and uses micro packets to bundle audio, video, and data information. This means that Display Port can freely trade off pixel depth, resolution, frame rate, and the presence and amount of audio and data in the stream. Basically this means a lot of flexibility for different devices of any type (as well as the possibility of things like picture in a picture).

The Data stream in Display Port also has some significant implications I will discuss in the next article in the series (hint: data means support for USB links, cameras, microphones, and touch-sensitive displays).

So let me do my own little score card so far:

FeatureDVIHDMIDisplay Port
Price+10+2
Sleeker Displays00+2
Smaller Connectors0+2+2
Resolution & pixel depth+1+2+2
Long cables0+2+2
Auto-tuning0?+2
Audio0+2+1

Basically DVI is antiquated and struggling to keep up with the ever increasing demands of bandwidth, resolution and flexibility.

There is no clear winner between HDMI and Display Port. Display Port is rapidly making its way into the PC market, while HDMI already has a strong hold on consumer electronics. For the foreseeable future they will co-exist (but I am sure they will compete), with DVI slowly fading out of the picture.

Addendum: For the complete 3-part series on Display Port see:

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