1. The evolution of AMD FreeSync
AMD is enabling FreeSync support over HDMI in early 2016, making smooth gaming experiences more accessible to everyone. FreeSync through HDMI will be supported on all AMD APUs and GPUs that already support FreeSync via DisplayPort, and AMD is working with ecosystem partners including LG, Samsung and Acer to deliver FreeSync over HDMI-compatible displays. Potential use cases include:
- More affordable mainstream monitors, 70% of which lack a DisplayPort connector
- External monitors for notebooks with an HDMI port connected to FreeSync-ready Radeon graphics
AMD is also introducing the first notebook with a validated AMD FreeSync panel, the Lenovo Y700. The Lenovo Y700 features the AMD FX-8800P “Carrizo” APU and Radeon R9 M380 Graphics with a direct drive LCD display and a 40-60Hz dynamic refresh range.
AMD and its partners have now announced or shipped 40 displays across the DisplayPort and HDMI interfaces, making AMD FreeSync the world’s foremost dynamic refresh technology by 2:1.
2. High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatibility
As consumers start to demand higher-quality monitors, HDR technology is emerging to set an excitingly high bar for overall display quality. HDR panels are characterized by:
- Brightness between 600-1200 cd/m2 of luminance, with an industry goal to reach 2000
- Contrast ratios that closely mirror human visual sensitivity to contrast (SMPTE 2084)
- And the Rec.2020 color gamut that can produce over 1 billion colors at 10 bits per color
HDR displays can be designed with the supreme black depth of OLED, or the vivid brightness of local dimming LCD. Both are suitable for gaming. A selection of TVs are already available, and consumer monitors are expected to reach the market in the second half of 2016. Such displays will offer unrivaled color accuracy, saturation, brightness, and black depth—in short, they will come very close to simulating the real world.
Existing Radeon R9 300 Series GPUs will be compatible with HDR displays in 2016 for gaming, while our 2016 GPUs will extend support to both gaming and movies. We’re already working with top game developers to enable HDR output from 2016 games, and will have more to share on that work next year.
GPUOpen for Gaming
As a continuation of the strategy we started with Mantle, we are giving even more control of the GPU to developers. As console developers have benefited from low-level access to the GPU, AMD wants to continue to bring this level of access to the PC space. AMD GPUOpen for gaming is giving developers the ability to harness the investments they've made on console development, including feature-rich, close-to-the-metal programming, and bring that to life on PC game development. Game developers will now have direct access to GPU hardware, access to a large collection of open source effects, tools, libraries and SDKs.
As such, in early 2016, libraries and samples i.e. source access to the library directly will be made available from AMD. GPUOpen is the primary vehicle to allow low-level access to the GPU.
New Compiler for Heterogeneous Computing
One of the primary goals of Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) is easing the development of parallel applications through the use of higher level languages. The new AMD “Boltzmann Initiative” suite includes an HCC compiler for C++ development, greatly expanding the field of programmers who can leverage HSA. The new HCC C++ compiler is a key tool in enabling developers to easily and efficiently apply discrete GPU hardware resources in heterogeneous systems. A Heterogeneous Compute Compiler that compiles an Open Source C++ Compiler for GPUs, and HIP allows developers to convert CUDA code to portable C++. AMD testing shows that in many cases 90 percent or more of CUDA code can be automatically converted into C++ by HIP with the final 10 percent converted manually in the widely popular C++ language.
Linux Driver and Runtime Focused on the Needs of HPC Cluster-Class Computing
Demonstrating its commitment to Linux, AMD developed a new HPC-focused open source driver and system runtime. This new headless Linux driver brings key capabilities to address core high-performance computing needs, including low latency compute dispatch and PCIe® data transfers; peer-to-peer GPU support; Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) from InfiniBand™ that interconnects directly to GPU memory; and Large Single Memory Allocation support.
An early access program for the “Boltzmann Initiative” tools is planned for Q1 2016.