AMD has advanced OpenGL with the release of a new GPU association extension. The new WGL_AMD_GPU_association allows applications to make the decision of what work to assign to what GPU. GPU’s are highly parallel processors — which is why Apple has moved towards their utilization with the advancement of OpenCL — but it is rare that a single application or multiple applications can utilize the resources of multi-GPU systems efficiently.
Building on CrossFire
ATI (AMD’s graphics subsidiary) developed CrossFire as an interconnect technology to enable multiple GPUs to work together on single problems. CrossFire accelerates applications by tasking each GPU with a portion of a rendering workload. AMD (ATI) is building on its experience with by releasing the new WGL_AMD_GPU_association. This extension allows applications to make decisions about what portion of the work to task to what GPU (in the case of multiple GPU systems).
New workstation class applications, like CAD, CAE, DCC (digital content creation), now make use of this extension to determine what types of GPUs are in a given system (computer) and pick which contexts to allocate on each GPU. This allows a workstation application to process multiple images and datasets simultaneously and combine the final image for display.
GPU Association is currently available in Catalyst 9.1. The extension specification can be found in the OpenGL extension registry.
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