AMD’s Radeon Technology Group held its second Capsaicin event at Siggraph 2016 and revealed a new lineup of affordable workstation GPUs. The company also announced a Radeon that’s probably not so affordable but is far more unbelievable.
Raja Koduri, Radeon Technology Group’s Chief Architect and most senior executive, revealed an incredible new GPU called the Radeon Pro SSG. Koduri suggested that SSG will be a disruptive technology that will change Hollywood film production, and after seeing the company’s live demonstration, we’re inclined to believe that.
Koduri called Radeon Pro SSG technology a “fundamental change in workstation architecture.” The Radeon Pro SSG has an unprecedented 1TB of GPU memory. This massive frame buffer allows the Radeon Pro card to store and work with large data sets locally, rather than relying on transferring the data from system memory to the GPU. AMD said this results in 10x lower memory access latency.
The Radeon Pro SSG is designed to handle the type of workloads you’d find in a Hollywood film production. AMD set up two top level workstations on stage to demonstrate the rendering power of the Radeon PRO SSG live to the audience. Koduri said that each machine featured the fastest workstation components available on the market, including the most powerful CPUs and fastest SSD drives available. One of the workstations was equipped with a Radeon Pro SSG, and the other was not.
AMD showed the workstation without the Radeon Pro SSG rendering a raw 8K video live on stage. The PC was able to render the feed at approximately 17 frames per second, which is pretty respectable for 8K video. The company then switched to the machine with the Radeon Pro SSG inside, which was rendering the footage much quicker.
The Radeon Pro SSG was managing a steady 30Hz, which appeared buttery smooth. Koduri noted that the render was being limited to 30Hz, but it could go much faster. With the limitation disabled, the video render accelerated upwards of 90Hz. Sure, these demos always favor the product being shown, but assuming there are no games being played here, let that 90Hz sink in for a second.
The Radeon Pro SSG appears to be capable of faster-than-real-time rendering of 8K raw footage. The card was rendering 4.5GB/s at that pace. That amount of data processing will also let you scrub through hours 8K video footage in real-time. How’s that for a productivity boost?
AMD said that the hardware is “very early,” but the company is accepting applications for Radeon Pro SSG dev kits immediately.