Datacenter Trends

AMD Unveils Radeon Graphics Cards for Datacenter Visualization

Launched at this week's VMworld event in Las Vegas, AMD's new Radeon Pro V340 graphics card is designed for heavy-duty workloads like Desktop as a Service and CAD software.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) unveiled its new Radeon Pro V340 graphics card for datacenter visualization workloads on Sunday at the annual VMworld event in Las Vegas.

The high-performance dual-GPU virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) was designed specifically for "demanding datacenter visualization workloads," the company said in a statement. Those workloads include CAD software, Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and rendering for enterprise users.

The product should be available by the fourth quarter of this year, the company said.

The flagship of AMD's Radeon Pro V series product line, the V340 graphics card is built on the Vega architecture, which AMD introduced officially last year at CES 2017. The new card is optimized to deliver "extreme performance" and high user density for virtualized environments. It comes with 32GB of HBM2 VRAM (16GB per GPU), delivering up to 512GB per second of raw bandwidth across a 4096-bit memory interface (per GPU).

The V340 is the first VDI hardware solution equipped with this much memory. On the product's Web page, AMD says it's designed to provide "pure datacenter graphics," and calls it "a beast."

Along with the beefy memory, the new graphics card comes with an integrated encoding engine, which enables the compression of independent video streams in both H.264 and H.265 formats. This capability provides design and manufacturing users with "the video quality they expect," and gives IT managers the ability to eliminate CPU bottlenecks. The card also comes with an ultra-fast frame buffer and a built-in security processor.

The new graphics card will "deliver and accelerate modern visualization workloads from the datacenter," said Ogi Brkic, general manager of the company's Radeon Pro group, in a statement. This capability is enabled by AMD's MxGPU technology, he said, which is a hardware-based virtualization GPU solution built on single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) tech, allowing up to 16 virtualized users per physical GPU to work remotely.

"Combining software and hardware technologies that deliver virtualized graphics for the modern cloud, AMD MxGPU delivers fast, stable and predictable performance with the industry's highest user density, without requiring recurring end-user license fees," the company said.

The Radeon line includes a range of Vega-based graphics cards, including the Radeon Pro Vega 56, Radeon Pro Vega 64, Radeon Pro SSG and the Radeon Frontier Edition.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based AMD has been on something of a hot streak lately. The company's stock surged on the Monday following the announcement, with shares hitting an 11-year high ($27.30) before sliding back a bit later in the day, from a 12 percent gain to trading up about 7 percent.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].


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