ATI announces stream computing plans

As expected, ATI has made an announcement regarding its plans for general-purpose computing on graphics processors. ATI says its graphics cards will be able to work alongside standard microprocessors in order to speed-up complex general-purpose computations. According to ATI, this "stream computing" technology has the potential to massively improve performance in some areas. Examples cited by the company include seismic model processing for oil and gas companies, which PeakStream simulations say can be up to 20 times faster with stream processing, and Stanford University's Folding@Home program, which reportedly sees a 40x performance boost going from a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 to a Radeon X1900 XT. Other sectors expected to benefit from stream computing include financial forecasting, scientific research, databases, and homeland security. ATI says it is currently working with companies in such fields to build a "stream computing ecosystem."

In related news, Stanford has announced that a beta version of its upcoming Folding@Home client designed to work on ATI Radeon graphics cards will become available on October 2.

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