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Aug 7, 2012

AMD Releases World First FirePro APUs




Anyone who thought AMD's accelerated processing units would always be exclusively for consumers has been proven wrong now that the FirePro A300 Series has been released.

FirePro is a brand that Advanced Micro Devices has used, for years, to market its graphics processing units and cards on the business and industrial markets. Now, the brand name has extended to APUs, those central processing units with integrated graphics processors. AMD intends for the FirePro A300 Series APUs to be utilized in entry-level and mainstream desktop workstations. That means that its customers are people who work in computer-aided design and media, and entertainment professions. Currently, two quad-core chips are known by name: AMD FirePro A300 and AMD FirePro A320.

The former is a 3.4 GHz processor (4 GHz Turbo Core maximum) with 382 AMD stream processors, a GPU clock of 760 MHz and a TDP (thermal design power) of 65W. The latter, also a quad-core CPU, works at 3.8 GHz / 4.2 GHz Turbo, has just as many stream processors (albeit a GPU speed of 800 MHz) and required 100W of energy. It is also unlocked, unlike the other one. Both chips support AMD Eyefinity technology (multi-monitor setups with horizontal display resolutions up to 10,240 x 1600 pixels), Discrete Compute Offload (DCO, for adding compute capability when a discrete AMD FirePro GPU is added to the machine), 30-bit color support and a dedicated UVD (universal video decoder/VCE, or video CODEC engine) for faster “fixed function” GPU processing of H.264/MPEG4 files and other motion media formats (frees CPU resources for other things).

“Design professionals demand workstation-class tools that enable productivity and flexibility in their workflow, and the AMD FirePro A300 Series APUs enable workstation integrators and OEMs an exciting new computing platform on which to design and build powerful, entry-level desktop workstation configurations that deliver unbeatable value for CAD and M&E workflows,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Graphics. “The AMD FirePro A300 Series APUs combines AMD FirePro™ graphics technology with advanced CPU technology, delivering incredible compute performance, refined design flexibility and outstanding efficiency.” Systems featuring the Advanced Micro Devices FirePro A300 series will start shipping this month (August 2012) from workstation integrators. Alas, no prices have been disclosed yet.

AMD FirePro logo
Image credits to AMD

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