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AMD Attacking Cloud Gaming with Radeon Sky

This week during GDC 2013, AMD revealed Radeon Sky Graphics, a component of AMD's Unified Gaming Strategy spanning consoles, cloud platforms, tablets and PCs. It's a new cloud gaming platform built from the ground up on AMD's Graphics Core Next architecture. It is powered by the company's RapidFire technology, which enables highly efficient and responsive game streaming.

"Real-time gaming through the cloud represents a significant opportunity and AMD is poised to lead in this vertical thanks to our extensive graphics hardware and software capabilities," said David Cummings, senior director, AMD Professional Graphics. "AMD is working closely with CiiNow, G-Cluster, Otoy and Ubitus to deliver exceptional AMD Radeon gaming experiences to the cloud."

AMD's Radeon Sky is offered in three models, two of which are full-height full-length dual-slot cards and one that is a full-height full-length single-slot card. All three support RapidFire technology, PowerTune Technology, and DirectX 11.1 (full according to AMD), and use a PCIe 3.0 x16 bus interface.

The specs show that the Radeon Sky 900 features a core clock speed of 825 MHz and 6 GB of GDDR5 memory (3 GB per GPU). It also has a 384-bit memory interface, a 480 GB/s memory bandwidth, and a TDP of 300 W. This card does not support AMD's ZeroCore Power Technology.

The next card in line, the Radeon Sky 700, has a core clock speed of 900 MHz and 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. It also uses a 384-bit memory interface, but the bandwidth is a smaller 264 GB/s. The TDP is also smaller, requiring 225 W.

The last card on the list, the Radeon Sky 500, is the only single-slot card in the group. It features a core clock speed of 950 MHz and only 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. The memory interface is 256-bit and the bandwidth is 154 GB/s, while the card's TDP is a lower 150 W.

AMD says the secret sauce to its Radeon Sky solutions is in the RapidFire technology. "[It's] a combination of hardware and software that enables cloud gaming partners to benefit from an open API that simplifies the manipulation of key hardware controls to provide HD visual quality, minimal latency and optimal network bandwidth resulting in a compelling and responsive gaming experience from any device over the internet," the company said.

AMD's Radeon Sky solutions are seemingly in direct response to Nvidia's cloud-based streaming technology, GRID. Nvidia says it's ideal for on-demand gaming as a service (GaaS), and even provides advantages over traditional console gaming systems because titles can be streamed to multiple form factors, not just one locked hardware set.

For more information about AMD's cloud gaming solution, the Radeon Sky Series, head here. As previously stated, current partners include Otoy, G-cluster Global and CiiNow.

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