In a few weeks, AMD is set to launch a new graphics card solution that will simplify the connection of content sources to large, multi-megapixel displays. Called Eyefinity, a single graphics card can now be used to drive up to six different displays. Many of the details will have to wait for the official release, but reportedly, the platform can support up to 268 megapixels.
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The Eyefinity technology will be integrated into DirectX 11-based ATI Radeon graphics cards and will be available in laptop or desktop PC options. The six displays can be run in landscape or portrait mode and can be tiled LCDs or even blended projectors. What was not mentioned, but can likely be supported too, is dual stream 3D output.
I can see a number of applications for this. PC-based gaming is one obvious application and one that was demonstrated in a number of ways:
Hawks at 5760×2400 resolution on six LCD monitors
Left 4 Dead at 5500×2000 resolution on six projectors
Left 4 Dead at 7680×1600 on 3 monitors
Dirt 2 DX11 (yet to be released) at 7680×3200 on six monitors
World of Warcraft at 7680×3200 on six monitors
A single PC with this Eyefinity graphics card can also be used for a really big desktop to open multiple applications. I can see that having three monitors on my desktop would be helpful when looking at multiple documents simultaneously. I could use two channels to run to my dual stack 3D projectors, 3 channels for my desktop applications and the last channel to keep tabs on CNN news.
Professionals can use it for CAD work, visualizations, design and financial analysis, graphic design, military intelligence, etc.
And if you need even more pixels, just add more cards. One demo for example, featured a single PC with four cards driving an array of 24 monitors showcasing a flight simulator application. But this is also a full-fledged video wall. In fact, AMD has been working with Samsung to use their thin-bezel LCD monitors in set-ups like this. It is pretty interesting to think that a 24-monitor video wall can be driven with a single PC and graphics card.
Such a graphics card also makes the idea of a family media server more interesting too. This would require an OS capable of handling multiple I/O commands from several keyboards and mice, but could serve up content to a number of users with one graphics card.
Interestingly, the first version of the graphics card will have DisplayPort connectors because of their compact size, but HDMI and DVI could follow later. Since most monitors don’t have DisplayPort connectors, an adaptor to DVI was used for most demos, it seems.