Certified GPU Productivity
AMD’s rigorous Day Zero Certification Program ensures engineers can upgrade to the latest professional design software version, with confidence.
December 14, 2020
Software vendors in the design, engineering and simulation space are increasingly taking advantage of GPU compute resources to help improve software performance and enable innovative new features.
GPU acceleration has provided new levels of productivity and performance when it comes to simulation solve times, the utilization of multiphysics during the design cycle, and real-time rendering and visualization. Leveraging the GPU, engineers can work with larger models and data sets, perform rapid simulations more frequently during the design process, and create stunning images and virtual prototypes.
But technology evolves rapidly, and if the software drivers required for your applications to work effectively with your GPU are not kept up-to-date and in-synch, you could find yourself missing out on key improvements and features, or encountering bugs and errors that can erode efficiency.
That is why AMD created its AMD Day Zero Certification Program: to ensure the professional applications that its customers utilize will be certified on the latest AMD Radeon™ Pro Software for Enterprise driver prior to release. This AMD program is a commitment to reliability, stability, and image quality.
What does this mean? As soon as end users configure their software tools on a workstation featuring an AMD Radeon™ Pro GPU, they can immediately take advantage of advanced vendor features that leverage professional GPU acceleration and improved graphics performance.
Extensive Quality Testing
In fact, AMD has achieved nearly 1,600 Day Zero ISV software certifications since program launch (for a complete list please see https://www.amd.com/en/support/certified-drivers), and that figure continues to grow. AMD works closely with leading engineering software providers like Autodesk, Altair, Dassault Systèmes, Siemens, and others to ensure that end users are getting a reliable and stable experience out of their workstation and application environment.
“The whole purpose of our extensive ISV [Independent Software Vendor] certification program is to ensure we are compatible with our partners applications so that the customer will have the best quality driver, and in turn have the best experience in their chosen design or simulation software,” says Yolanda Ruiz, program manager for ISV certification engagement at AMD.
AMD qualifies each driver through extensive testing and Quality Assurance (QA). AMD also works with software vendors to align that testing and certification with the ISV’s software update schedules and AMD’s own hardware development cycle.
“With our comprehensive pre-certification program, we get the latest version of the software in our labs as soon as possible to test out the new features of that application. We do rigorous exploratory testing that goes beyond the standard test suite,” Ruiz says. “Without that detailed testing, end users have more of a potential to experience issues in the field after the driver is released.”
AMD utilizes both vendor-provided test sets and its own testing content for each application. AMD’s engineers receive specialized training on specific applications so that they can better recreate the field use of the application for this exploratory quality assurance testing. The company also obtains actual customer data sets that can be integrated into the testing and certification process.
“If it is a particularly graphics demanding application, we want to make sure that our drivers are working as expected,” Ruiz says. “That validation process is critical to ensure performance and reliability.”
AMD also coordinates with their software vendor partners to address any bugs or problems reported post-release. “If there is a bug reported to the ISV, they contact our team so that our QA department can try to reproduce that problem. We create a test case to make sure we can rapidly address the issue. AMD Radeon Pro graphics are quality driven solutions designed primarily for reliability.” Ruiz says.
Engineers face increasing demands to create, test and visualize more design iterations at a faster pace. New software features that take full advantage of the power of the GPU can help enable these accelerated workflows. AMD’s extensive testing and pre-certification program makes it possible for engineers to access these GPU-enabled enterprise features productively on day one, with confidence.
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