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AMD Radeon HD 4890 CrossFire

Multi-GPU processing has come a long way since the days of the 3dfx Voodoo2 and ATI’s Rage Maxx, with scan line interleaving (SLI) providing the first acronym headed towards immortality in the world of splitting the graphics workload over two separate cards.

Even though the term SLI is now used to mean something different, the pioneering work done by 3dfx, ATI and Quantum3D has laid the foundations of most of the graphics processing using massive parallel rendering engines on a single GPU and taking the concept further towards multiple GPUs on single cards or sharing the system barebones to increase 3D graphics power.

On a side note, the term GPU needs to be credited to nVidia - before it was coined we were all talking about video graphics arrays (VGA) as it was introduced back in 1987 by IBM. Anybody remember a “Hercules card”?

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.