Electronic Design

Lucid Pulls A PCI Express Graphics Switch

The Hydra 100 from Lucid Technologies turns two or more graphics adapters into a single, cooperative graphics compute engine. It starts as a basic PCI Express switch, allowing any kind of device to be plugged in downstream. But it shows its multifaceted personality when GPUs such as those from NVidia and AMD/ATI are downstream.

Its RISC engine makes multiple graphics boards appear as a single, more powerful device, distributing graphics operations among boards through sophisticated load-leveling tasks. It can also merge information computed on different boards, allowing frame rendering to be distributed while a single board delivers the results without the external linkage typically found on competing scalable link interface (SLI) solutions, which tend to be vendor-specific while requiring matching boards.

This solution can blend compatible boards from the same vendor, assuming that the vendorâ??s universal Windows device driver supports them all. This capacity highlights two featuresâ??the ability to upgrade a system by adding a new board, and the ability for a system that's equipped with the Hydra 100 to handle boards from both major vendors since systems typically will be tuned for one or the other.

The Hydra 100 offers opportunities to embedded designers who want to provide a scalable solution that exceeds a single GPU. It also will enable designs that start with lower-performance, less costly platforms while supporting incremental performance increases.

LUCID TECHNOLOGIESwww.lucidlogix.com

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