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AMD launches external graphics card box
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Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:35 am Reply and quote this post
AMD used the Computex show in Taipei this week to propose XGP -eXternal Graphics Platform, a slimline box you connect your GPU-litelaptop to when you need more graphics horsepower.
Fujitsu Siemens (FSC) was on hand to demo the concept with its AmiloGraphicBooster, an AppleTV-like unit with an AMD ATI Radeon HD 3870 GPUbuilt in and hooked up to 512MB of GDDR 3 memory. The box can drivefour displays simultaneously, the company claimed.

AMD's XGP reference box: it's a graphics card, don't you know

AMD's pitch is that users will be able to connect their slim'n'lightlaptops to an XGP, which will supply the level of graphical grunt thatthey don't need when they're on the move and, more importantly, runningon battery power.
XGPs are designed to be hot-pluggable, the driver knowing about andenabling the use of the discrete GPU as soon as it's connected to thehost.
With that multi-monitor support, XGP will undoubtedly also bepitched at businesses who want to give their laptop-equipped workersmulti-display desktops.
Of course, this is the same notion companies like DisplayLink arepeddling, but they're delivering multi-screen support over USB usingthe host system's GPU. AMD's approach - since it's in the business ofselling more graphics chips - is to add a second GPU to the system.
That said, Fujistu Siemens has its eye on the consumer market - weunderstand it's pitching the technology to Dixons and other bigretailers - as a way to allow ordinary punters to effectively upgradetheir older laptops' graphics capabilities. The technology doesn'trequire an external monitor - the XGP can render images on the hostlaptop's own screen.

Yet another video connector for your laptop

And XGP has its own connector, which although based on PCI Express2.0 technology, does require the laptop to have a special XGP slot onthe side. AMD has two connectors, one for eight PCIe lanes, the otherfor 16. At this stage it's unclear whether you can connect, say, an XGPwith a 16-lane cable, using an adaptor, to a notebook with an 8-laneport.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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