AMD has now officially announced its new Radeon Sky Series graphics cards aimed at cloud gaming platforms.
Featuring three products based on Graphics Core Next architecture and either Tahiti or Pitcairn GPU, the Sky Series aims to lead the way in performance and define cloud gaming experiences for gamers, according to AMD. David Cummings, Senior Director, AMD Professional Graphics noted that real time gaming through the cloud represents a significant opprtunity that AMD wants to lead in thanks to its extensive graphics hardware and software capabilities and that, by closely working with CiiNow, G-Cluster, Otoy and Ubitus, will deliver exceptional AMD Radeon gaming experinces to the cloud.
Short note was also made regarding the AMD RapidFire technology that will be behind this seamless experiance by enabling highly efficient and responsive game streaming as a power of flexible cloud gaming technology. A quick check at AMD's site explains that AMD RapidFire is a combination of hardware and software that enables cloud gaming partners to benefit from an open API that should simplify the manipulation of key hardware contros in order to provide HD visual quality, minimal latency and optimal network bandwidth. It also provides support for direct access to the Sky GPUs from virtual machines like VMware SEX/SXi and Citrix XenServer in order to provide greater density and more simulataneous game streams from a single server.
As noted earlier, the Sky Series features three different SKUs, the Radeon Sky 900, Radeon Sky 700 and the Radeon Sky 500. The flagship Radeon Sky 900 is a dual-slot, dual-GPU solution, based on two Tahiti GPUs The GPU works at 825MHz and it has 6GB of GDDR5 memory (3GB per GPU) paired up with a 384-bit memory interface. It delivers 480GB/s of memory bandwidth, the TDP stands at 300W, and it supports AMD RapidFire and PowerTune, but lacks AMD ZeroCore Power tech.
Next in line is the single-GPU Tahiti-based Radeon Sky 700 that is also a full-height/full-length dual-slot graphics card. It works at 900MHz for the GPU and comes with 6GB of GDDR5 memory paired up with a 384-bit memory interface. It features 264GB/s of memory bandwidth and the max TDP set at 225W. AMD RapidFire, PowerTune and ZeroCore Power technologies are on board as well.
Last but not least is the AMD Radeon Sky 500. This full-height/full-length single-slot graphics card is based on Pitcairn XT GPU (aka HD 7870), works at 950MHz for the GPU and packs 4GB or GDDR5 memory paired up with a 256-bit memory interface. The max TDP is set at 150W, has 154GB/s of memory bandwidth and features the full set of AMD technologies.
According to the feature and benefits tab at AMD's "cloud gaming" site, AMD Radeon Sky Series graphics cards can support up to six simultaneous HD game streams per GPU and thus maximize available space in cloud gaming data centers. According to AMD, this was tested on CiiNow cloud services with AMD Opteron 6380 16-core server, Colfax CX 125-N44 1U rack mount server and one AMD Radeon Sky Series model 700 GPU.
Interestingly enough, AMD claims that these are designed for silent operation and simplify thermal design for servers with passive cooling.
You can check out AMD's cloud gaming part of the site here.