View Full Version : Chipmaker Hydra's Stunning Work

08-20-2008, 06:30 PM
Chipmaker Hydra's Stunning Work May Render CrossFire, SLI Obsolete

The accomplishment of the engine is nothing short of unbelievable to those who follow the graphics industry. It uses hardware and software to allow virtually any AMD/ATI and NVIDIA GPU to work together and share workloads with the CPU, scaling programs almost linearly. You could probably call the HYDRA Engine CrossFire-SLI, though you might run into a spot of legal trouble in trying to do so.

Lucid isn't just redeploying existing technologies -- it's improving on them. AMD/ATI and NVIDIA use two technologies for their multi-GPU solutions. One is split frame rendering, in which each card renders a part of the frame. The drawback of this is that it requires synchronization of all texture and geometry data on both GPUs and thus memory bandwidth limitations from a single card remain. The other solution commonly used is alternate frame rendering. This approach also has a significant downside, in that it introduces latency in the time it takes to switch between GPU connections.

The HYDRA Engine offers a hybrid solution. The heart of the engine is the silicon chip, which splits up the graphics workload in hardware. Lucid has a unique driver which will interface Direct X to GPU vendor drivers, after the division of workload. Information from games first gets passed to Hydra's software, which splits it into tasks. The set of tasks is then set to Lucid's hardware, which splits the work up between up to 4 GPUs. A typical task might be rendering a specific part of a scene, adding lighting, or other common graphical chores. After the GPUs finish their respective parts, it sends them to one of the GPUs to coalesce into a final output. The whole process is very fast.

http://www.dailytech.com/Chipmaker+Hydra...rticle12719.htm (http://www.dailytech.com/Chipmaker+Hydras+Stunning+Work+May+Render+CrossFir e+SLI+Obsolete/article12719.htm)