Google’s Stadia will Utilise Custom AMD GPUs and Radeon Developer Tools

Google's Stadia to Utilise Custom AMD GPU and Developer Tools

Google’s Stadia will Utilise Custom AMD GPUs and Radeon Developer Tools

Google’s Stadia gaming service will be utilising custom AMD/Radeon graphics hardware, with every instance using a GPU that is capable of delivering more performance than both an Xbox One X and PS4 Pro combined, promising gamers a stellar performance on the cloud. 

AMD has since confirmed to us that Google will utilise AMD’s Linux drivers and their Radeon GPU Profiler to ensure that their graphics hardware is optimally utilised and runs at peak efficiency. The low-level Vulkan API will also act as a large part of Google’s efforts, an API which finds its origins in AMD’s Mantle API, which was later donated to the Khronos Group to act as the baseline for Vulkan. 

We know for a fact that a custom Radeon datacenter graphics card will be used to create Google’s Stadia streaming platform, which will run primarily using Vulkan and Linux. At this time it is unknown who manufactures the processors that are to be used within Google’s gaming servers, though the use of the term “hyperthreaded” implies that an Intel product will be used. 

On the graphics side, Stadia will use a Radeon graphics card with 56 compute units and offer 10.7 TFLOPS of graphics horsepower, specifications that are similar to AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 GPU, especially after the 484GB/s memory bandwidth specification is accounted for. That said, the performance that Google mentions would require a Vega GPU with 56 compute units to offer a clock speed of 1495ish MHz, which is higher than the RX Vega 56’s 1156MHz base clock and 1471MHz boost clock. 

At this time it is unknown what graphics card Google plans to base their Stadia platform on, though 7nm Radeon GPUs seem likely. 14nm GPUs that are in effect overclocked RX Vega 56 cards would seem overly power hungry for such a large enterprise, making 7nm a great choice for Google and AMD alike. AMD’s Vega 20 silicon, which is used to make the Radeon VII, uses four HBM2 memory stacks, offering memory bandwidth levels that are well in excess of what Google’s Stadia specifications would indicate. 

Google’s Stadia platform product lead, Dov Zimring, has stated that Google has been working with AMD “for years” on this project, making it possible that the company are using a fully custom graphics card to create their cloud gaming systems. That said, Google is likely to upgrade its gaming hardware over time, especially given their plans to offer 8K game streaming in the future. Below is a statement from Google’s Dov Zimring. 

 

     We’ve worked closely with AMD for years on this project, leading to the development of a custom GPU with leading-edge features and performance for Google Stadia,

Google and AMD share a commitment to open-source with expertise in Vulkan, open-source Vulkan GPU drivers, and open-source graphics optimization tools. We’re humbled by the spirit of innovation and collaboration that exists throughout the gaming industry and look forward to pioneering the future of graphics technology with game developers, in open-source.

Google's Stadia to Utilise Custom AMD GPU and Developer Tools  
As part of their Stadia announcement, Google confirmed that its Stadia gaming platform could support multiple Radeon graphics cards, enabling increased game performance and better in-game visuals. In theory, Google’s Stadia ecosystem could push more game developers into creating games with Vulkan support, multi-GPU support and Linux support, though this might be a little overoptimistic.  

Stadia is a clear design-win for AMD, who was chosen over Nvidia to power Google’s online gaming platform. Stadia will go live sometime in 2019, and at this time it is unknown whether or not Stadia will be based on AMD’s existing Vega architecture or on something newer. 

You can join the discussion on Google’s plans to use AMD’s graphics hardware and developer tools for Stadia development on the OC3D Forums.