Fresh off its approved merger with AMD, ATI apparently has some tricks up its sleeve and will reveal its hand at a special event in San Francisco on September 29. ATI is hyping something called "Stream Computing," which uses GPGPU (general purpose graphics processor units) to run normal code on graphics hardware. GPGPU (couldn't they have come up with a better acronym?) is something that's been bouncing around the computer science community for a little while now, and may be on its way to becoming feasible -- The Reg says this technology has the potential to kick up performance by a factor of 10 and possibly as high as 30 in some computing applications (like, say, running a huuuuge freakin' Excel 'sheet). Now that may be true, but it's like those floating point specs that Apple is always parading around -- those numbers may hold water in the lab for very specific applications, but mere mortals probably won't see that performance difference anytime soon.

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