AMD's new SSG Technology blends an SSD with a GPU?!

AMD's says its Solid State Graphics Technology will enable terabytes of storage on a graphics card.

You can never have enough memory on a professional graphics card, AMD officials said before announcing the company's next big thing at the SIGGRAPH conference on Monday night. Using what AMD dubbed SSG Technology, or Solid State Graphics Technology, the company will graft high-speed NAND memory to its upcoming line of professional GPUs.

In doing so, company officials said, it will be possible to connect a magnitude more memory to a GPU than is currently available. The GPU with the most memory presently is AMD’s Radeon FirePro W9100 with 32GB of RAM.

With SSG Technology, NAND is directly connected to the GPU core, residing within the graphics card itself.

Why this matters: “This will allow us to connect terabytes of memory to the GPU,” said David Wattters, AMD’s head of Industry Alliances. The ramifications aren’t entirely known, but Watters said SSG is already making a difference in ultra-high-resolution 8K video. And no, 8K video isn’t just double that of 4K, either. An Ultra HD 4K video is about 8.3 megapixels. An 8K video is 7680x4320, or about 33 megapixels. According to Watters, current GPUs can play 8K video at around 17fps; one with SSG can play the same video at 96fps.

How it works

AMD said that given the relatively small amount of memory in a graphics card today, the GPU must slice and dice workloads and then manage the merging of those disparate parts. When the GPU wants more work, it has to signal the CPU, which then fetches data from the larger pool of local system RAM or primary storage. This incurs latency.

With SSG, the CPU is bypassed entirely, which greatly reduces latency, AMD said. The company didn’t disclose too many details, but SSG appears to be based on a standard M.2 interface using PCIe.

SSG would not replace graphics RAM itself, such as GDDR5+ or HBM or HBM2, as it would be too slow. The company’s new Polaris-based Radeon RX 480, for example, has about 256GBps of memory bandwidth on tap. The best you can get out of a single M.2 interface today is 1.5GBps to 2GBps

AMD officials said the large pool of SSG memory will aid real-time visualization tasks and also change how professionals work because that memory is also pervasive. A typical high-end CAD worker might start the morning by booting up their machine and loading a model, which could take an hour. SSG would eliminate that wait.

The SSG memory would be treated as part of a huge pool of RAM. If the GPU can’t find its data in the local GDDR5+ or HBM RAM, it would then search the SSG. Only after that would it have to ask the CPU for what it wants.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gordon Mah Ung

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?