ADFS 2011 Wrapup & AMD Lynx Platform Tests

Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: July 18th, 2011

New Product Terms: Vision Engine Center & More

AMD Vision Engine Center Features

Catalyst Control Center becomes known as the Vision Engine Center when running and AMD CPU with an AMD GPU, or an APU. This is to help less advanced users know where the controls and processing for video enhancements, like smooth video, are done - on the Vision Engine, using the Radeon Cores. The point is to make the technology accessible and friendly to use, in keeping with AMD's Vision branding basing product selection on user tasks and experience, rather than gee-bees and giga-hurtings.

AMD Vision Engine Center Functions

ATI's GPU accelerated applications strategy has evolved over the last five years, from being a close-to-metal implementation in CAL and Brook, to now using OpenCL. AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing (APP) is used by many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to improve performance or increase quality. Getting Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to adopt APP is key to AMD's success. This is the method by which everyday applications can use the massive parallel processing power inherent in AMD GPUs and APUs, using a common standard that works with Intel, NVIDIA and ARM technologies as well.

AMD Vision Engine Center Functions

Radeon Cores? Are they new?

No, this is the new term for the stream cores (formerly known as ALUs) that are the heart of the SIMDs found in AMD's graphics processors. These are now referred to as Radeon Cores to aid less technical consumers understanding what differences there are between the different APUs.

5 Radeon Cores make a Thread Processor; 16 Thread Processors make a SIMD

For the technically inclined, the Radeon cores are arranged in a VLIW-5 design, where four basic Radeon cores and one special Radeon core are collected into a unit known as a thread processor, which contains the branch unit and general purpose registers needed for processing data. Thread processors are grouped together in sixteens, to make a total of 80 Radeon cores which is known as a SIMD. A single SIMD is the smallest graphics processing unit for AMD's graphics processor units - the ATI Radeon HD 5450 had 1 SIMD, as does the Fusion APU E-series. There are a lot more in the A-series desktop APUs, and the heterogeneous compute power of the APU increases as more (and faster clocked) SIMDs are available.

A-series APU Graphics Power

AMD Steady Video

Steady Video is a new feature for users of AMD Catalyst 11.6 and is an AMD APP technology exclusive feature, using OpenCL to provide image stabilization on streaming and local video. This reduces the 'shakycam' effect on videos taken using hand-held devices, but making Cloverfield watchable might be beyond even its capabilities. The effect is real time and controlled through the Vision Engine Control Center, using frame comparison markers to determine which motion differences are panning instead of unintentional motion from being handheld or mounted on a vibrating or unstable platform (such as an aerial video). This feature is unique to AMD platforms.

AMD Steady Video
Steady Video Controls

Picture Perfect HD

This is the new terms for the collective color and video enhancement controls in the Vision Engine Control Center. Previously known as part of AVIVO, then AVIVO HD, the new branding is intended to make controlling the image quality enhancements easier. The default options provide increased color vibrancy, flesh tone correction, brighter whites, edge-enhancement, de-noise, mosquito noise reduction, dynamic contrast and enforced smooth video playback. Further controls allow dynamic range control and the ability to apply these effects to internet video as well. All the controls are tunable and easily toggled on and off.

AMD Picture Perfect HD
Universal Video Decoder
Universal Video Decoder, version 3

The Univeral Video Decoder (UVD) in version 3 form was introduced with the AMD Radeon HD 6000 discrete GPU lineup, and is one of the main differentiators between Evergreen and Northern Islands product lines (until the HD 6700 series launched, and don't ask about Radeon mobility). The UVD is specifically for hardware accelerated decode of specific codecs and encode types. Added in version 3 are more MPEG-2 support, MPEG-4 part 2 (DiVX/XViD) and MVC, the Blu-ray 3D codec. This last is most important as it is likely a lot of Fusion APUs will power media consumption devices, both in home desktop and dedicated media PC guise.

UVD Accelerated DiVX HD playback

Above you can see the APU using both CPU x86 cores and Radeon cores to process the DiVX HD video for playback in Cyberlink's PowerDVD 10 Mark II. Click to see the full screen image, where Picture Perfect HD in demo mode is enabled in split screen mode, with enhancements applied to the right side of the image.