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AMD Vega Memory Architecture Q&A With Jeffrey Cheng

AMD Vega Memory Architecture Q&A With Jeffrey Cheng

At the AMD Computex 2017 Press Conference, AMD President & CEO Dr. Lisa Su announced that AMD will launch the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition on 27 June 2017, and the Radeon RX Vega graphics cards at the end of July 2017. We figured this is a great time to revisit the new AMD Vega memory architecture.

Now, who better to tell us all about it than AMD Senior Fellow Jeffrey Cheng, who built the AMD Vega memory architecture? Check out this exclusive Q&A session from the AMD Tech Summit in Sonoma!

Updated @ 2017-06-11 : We clarified the difference between the AMD Vega’s 64-bit flat address space, and the 512 TB addressable memory. We also added new key points, and time stamps for the key points.

Originally posted @ 2017-02-04

Don’t forget to also check out the following AMD Vega-related articles :

 

The AMD Vega Memory Architecture

Jeffrey Cheng is an AMD Senior Fellow in the area of memory architecture. The AMD Vega memory architecture refers to how the AMD Vega GPU manages memory utilisation and handles large datasets. It does not deal with the AMD Vega memory hardware design, which includes the High Bandwidth Cache and HBM2 technology.

 

AMD Vega Memory Architecture Q&A Summary

Here are the key takeaway points from the Q&A session with Jeffrey Cheng :

  • Large amounts of DRAM can be used to handle big datasets, but this is not the best solution because DRAM is costly and consumes lots of power (see 2:54).
  • AMD chose to design a heterogenous memory architecture to support various memory technologies like HBM2 and even non-volatile memory (e.g. Radeon Solid State Graphics) (see 4:40 and 8:13).[adrotate group=”2″]
  • At any given moment, the amount of data processed by the GPU is limited, so it doesn’t make sense to store a large dataset in DRAM. It would be better to cache the data required by the GPU on very fast memory (e.g. HBM2), and intelligently move them according to the GPU’s requirements (see 5:40).
  • The AMD Vega’s heterogenous memory architecture allows for easy integration of future memory technologies like storage-class memory (flash memory that can be accessed in bytes, instead of blocks) (see 8:13).
  • The AMD Vega has a 64-bit flat address space for its shaders (see 12:0812:36 and 18:21), but like NVIDIA, AMD is (very likely) limiting the addressable memory to 49-bits, giving it 512 TB of addressable memory.
  • AMD Vega has full access to the CPU’s 48-bit address space, with additional bits beyond that used to handle its own internal memory, storage and registers (see 12:16). This ties back to the High Bandwidth Cache Controller and heterogenous memory architecture, which allows the use of different memory and storage types.

  • Game developers currently try to manage data and memory usage, often extremely conservatively to support graphics cards with limited amounts of graphics memory (see 16:29).
  • With the introduction of AMD Vega, AMD wants game developers to leave data and memory management to the GPU. Its High Bandwidth Cache Controller and heterogenous memory system will automatically handle it for them (see 17:19).
  • The memory architectural advantages of AMD Vega will initially have little impact on gaming performance (due to the current conservative approach of game developers). This will change when developers hand over data and memory management to the GPU. (see 24:42).[adrotate group=”2″]
  • The improved memory architecture in AMD Vega will mainly benefit AI applications (e.g. deep machine learning) with their large datasets (see 24:52).

Don’t forget to also check out the following AMD Vega-related articles :

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The Radeon Technologies Group’s First Year Achievements

On September 9, 2015, AMD spliced off their Radeon graphics team into a separate Radeon Technologies Group. They also promoted Raja Koduri to Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of the new Radeon Technologies Group, reporting directly to AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

It has now been a year since Raja Koduri took the helm of the newly-formed Radeon Technologies Group. Chris Hook, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Public Relations, Radeon Technologies Group, gave us a run-down of what the Radeon Technologies Group accomplished in just 12 months.

Then Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, gave us a 40 minute Q&A session – a rare opportunity as you can imagine. Check out the full Q&A session below!

Now, join us for a quick tour of their achievements in the first year! If you would like to peruse the slides from the presentation, you can check them out here. [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

The First Year Of The Radeon Technologies Group

Right after its formation, the Radeon Technologies Group dove straight into the melee, delivering the Radeon Software Crimson Edition in November 2015, and then launching GPUOpen in December 2015.

 

Then in March 2016, they released their first Vulkan-capable driver. They followed that up with the launch of the AMD Radeon Pro Duo graphics card.

Their efforts culminated in the AMD Polaris launch during Computex 2016.

A month later, they launched the AMD Radeon Pro family, featuring the Radeon Pro WX series and the Radeon Pro SSG.

Finally, AMD announced in August that the AMD FreeSync technology is now available in just over 100 gaming monitors.

Next Page > The Radeon Technologies Group First Anniversary Presentation Slides

 

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Here are the presentation slides used by Chris Hook, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Public Relations, Radeon Technologies Group, during his presentation :

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AMD Radeon Pro WX & Radeon Solid State Graphics Launched!

AMD has revealed new, industry changing graphics technologies and partnerships that will shape the CG community and to the rest of the world for years to come at its “Capsaicin Siggraph” press conference and webcast, including new professional-class Radeon products to power the burgeoning immersive content creation era.

 

New Radeon Pro WX Series

AMD today unveils powerful new solutions to address modern content creation and engineering: the new Radeon Pro WX Series of professional graphics cards, which harness the award-winning Polaris architecture and is designed to deliver exceptional capabilities for the immersive computing era.

Radeon Pro solutions and the new Radeon Pro WX Series of professional graphics cards represent a fundamentally different approach for professionals rooted in a commitment to open, non-proprietary software and performant, feature-rich hardware that empowers people to create the “art of the impossible”.

The new Radeon Pro WX series graphics cards (Price Check) deliver on the promise of this new era of creation, are optimized for open source software, and are designed for creative professionals and those pushing the boundaries of science, technology and engineering.

Radeon Pro WX Series professional graphics cards are designed to address specific demands of the modern content creation era:

  • Radeon Pro WX 7100 GPU (Price Check) is capable of handling demanding design engineering and media and entertainment workflows and is AMD’s most affordable workstation solution for professional VR content creation.
  • Radeon Pro WX 5100 GPU (Price Check) is the ideal solution for product development, powered by the impending game-engine revolution in design visualization.
  • Radeon Pro WX 4100 GPU (Price Check) provides great performance in a half-height design, finally bringing mid-range application performance demanded by CAD professionals to small form factor (SFF) workstations

 

AMD formally launches ProRender and moves to GPUOpen

As part of GPUOpen, Radeon ProRender (formerly previewed as AMD FireRender) enables creators to bring ideas to life through high-performance applications and workflows enhanced by photorealistic rendering.

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GPUOpen is an AMD initiative designed to assist developers in creating ground-breaking games, professional graphics applications and GPU computing applications with much greater performance and lifelike experiences, at no cost and using open development tools and software.

Unlike other renderers, Radeon ProRender can simultaneously use and balance the compute capabilities of multiple GPUs and CPUs – on the same system, at the same time – and deliver state-of-the-art GPU acceleration to produce rapid, accurate results.

Radeon ProRender plugins are available today for many popular 3D content creation applications, including Autodesk 3ds Max, SOLIDWORKS by Dassault Systèmes and Rhino, with Autodesk Maya coming soon. Radeon ProRender works across Windows, OS X and Linux, and supports AMD GPUs, CPUs and APUs as well as those of other vendors.

 

Radeon Solid State Graphics Technology set to transform workstation PC architecture

Starting at a full terabyte of Radeon Solid State Graphics (SSG), this innovative Radeon Pro technology will provide more than an order of magnitude greater memory capacity compared to existing GPU memory implementations, enabling vastly higher performance and ideal for the next wave of demanding use-case scenarios including real-time post-production of 8K video, high-resolution rendering, VR content creation, oil and gas exploration, computational engineering, medical imaging and life sciences.

During the world’s first demonstration of a Radeon Pro SSG solution, 8K raw video timeline scrubbing was accelerated from 17 frames per second to a stunning 90+ frames per second.

Applications for developer kits are now being accepted and full availability is planned for 2017.

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