Graphics Cards

Faster, Better Transparency Mode Rendering in Creo Parametric 2.0 is Result of Efforts by AMD and PTC

26 Jun, 2012 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

At the Planet PTC Live user conference in Orlando early this month, AMD was on hand in the exhibit hall demonstrating the line of AMD FirePro professional graphics cards and related technologies for demanding CAD users.

Bahman Dara, worldwide senior manager, Workstation Graphics Product Marketing, showed me the company’s latest development for optimizing Creo Parametric 2.0 (formerly Pro/ENGINEER) when running on a workstation equipped with an AMD FirePro graphics processing unit (GPU).

A GPU-accelerated technique called order-independent transparency (OIT) enables Creo Parametric 2.0 to render overlapping, semitransparent objects in a CAD model without having to sort them before being rendered. OIT Transparency mode results in as much as 900% faster rendering performance and more accurate depth sorting that leaves virtually no transparent artifacts compared to the previously available Blended transparency mode, according to AMD. User productivity improves as does early design insight, the accuracy of digital model representations, the efficiency of design inspections, and opportunities for new and more innovative design workflows.

AMD worked with PTC to optimize Creo Parametric 2.0, which launched in April, for running on AMD GPUs. AMD wrote the OIT code for Creo Parametric 2.0; in exchange, PTC has given AMD exclusivity for one year --  that is, no other GPUs are currently recognized by the version 2.0 optimization code.

“We are always working with other software developers to optimized software performance,” Dara said.

AMD FirePro professional graphics cards are optimized and certified for all major CAD solutions and media and entertainment (M&E) solutions; prices start at approximately $150 (retail). FirePro cards also offer AMD Eyefinity technology, which supports as many as six monitors operating from a single card.

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