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AMD updates remote graphics for VDI with FirePro R5000 adapter

25 Feb 2013
AMD FirePro R5000

AMD has unveiled a new GPU product designed to deliver high-performance graphics in remote display applications, such as virtual desktop environments or financial trading, where the workstation is often located remotely.

Set to ship in March, the FirePro R5000 is a PCI Express 3.0 graphics adapter designed to slot into either a workstation or a server hosting virtual workstation instances, and serve up the display to a remote user as well as accelerating the graphics.

The FirePro combines AMD's "Pitcairn" Graphics Core Next GPU technology with 2GB of memory and a Teradici PC-over-IP (PCoIP) chip. The PCoIP chip compresses and encrypts the display output for transmission across an IP connection to a remote endpoint in the hands of the user.

This could be a PC or tablet using a software client to display the output, or a dedicated terminal such as Wyse Technology's P25 and P45 "zero client" devices.

PCoIP is also the display protocol supported by VMware's View, which was given an overhaul last week as part of VMware's Horizon Suite.

Compared with AMD's previous generation, the FirePro RG220 and RG220A, the new FirePro R5000 has much more powerful graphics and a newer Teradici chip, the Tera 2240, which can squeeze more video bandwidth across the IP network connection.

The upshot is that the FirePro R5000 can drive up to four displays on the remote endpoint, each supporting a resolution of up to 1920x1200 pixels, or alternatively support just two remote screens at up to 2560x1600.

It also has two DisplayPort outputs, which can provide a local clone of any of the remote displays, to help IT staff to diagnose and troubleshoot any problems.

"This is definitely geared towards supporting users who require a lot of displays," said Mohamed Jivraj, product manager for AMD Graphics.

"It really is a solution for enabling a full workstation experience all over IP. So it's not just about graphics, it's also about audio and multimedia," he added.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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