Remember what we said in the earlier Friday notes? One will know about a chip getting ready to meet the users’ requirements by checking the drivers, compilers and profilers, as the support status will tell you about that.
This time, we examined a pre-release driver INF file for an easter egg hunt. And not surprisingly, one particular point of interest popped up after only a few searches. Below are the actual lines from the INF files in its original form:
“%AMD9905.1%” = ati2mtag_TrinityGL, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9905
“%AMD9906.1%” = ati2mtag_TrinityGL, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9906
AMD9905.1 = “ATI FirePro A300 Series(FireGL V) Graphics Adapter”
AMD9906.1 = “ATI FirePro A300 Series(FireGL V) Graphics Adapter”
So what does that tell us? Two specific Trinity APU variants will get a FirePro professional graphics branding for its GPU part. Putting it in simpler terms, that means Trinity APUs could end up in workstations or even low-end servers with slightly modified desktop motherboards to cater these markets, or even ultra-dense servers on specialized modules.
That does match reports about SeaMicro, also known as the new AMD Data Center Server Solutions group, doing a dual-Trinity module with their Freedom interconnect fabric, as detailed in recent articles here and here. Meanwhile recent rumors also say Trinity does very well in professional OpenGL applications.
So AMD will have to give this APU part an official name for Server market presence, in the same sense as “AMD second-generation A series APUs” for the consumer desktop and notebook markets. In this case, the graphics part should now being named “AMD FirePro A300 Series”, and the APU should receive an Opteron branding.
Looking into late 2012/early 2013, it sounds like the low-end workstation and server market will become interesting again, and could probably signal AMD’s entrance into the ultra-dense server market with heterogeneous computing using APUs running OpenCL. Stay tuned. S|A