AMD preparing NVIDIA DLSS alternative
While NVIDIA has been focusing on RTX (NVIDIA Ray Tracing) and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technologies at GeForce Ampere launch, AMD paid more attention to raw performance, lower power requirements, and innovative memory technology coming with RDNA2 graphics. It does not mean, however, that AMD has no intention to reveal similar technologies.
Yesterday’s announcement lacked details on AMD’s response to NVIDIA DLSS, a machine-learning powered super-resolution technology that can boost graphics card performance by a significant margin simply by reconstructing the image that was never rendered by the GPU in the first place. Instead, a prediction is made, often adding more details to the image than native resolution.
At AMD Radeon RX 6000 announcement Scott Herkelman said:
We are always looking to help developers with new initiatives and we are already working on a super-resolution feature to give gamers an option for more performance when using ray tracing.
It is unclear if the upcoming super-resolution feature will only work when ray tracing is enabled or these are rather two separate technologies that can be enabled separately, similarly NVIDIA.
Tom Warren from The Verge received more information on this super-resolution technology:
While AMD is promising to go head to head with Nvidia in 4K gaming and more, the one big missing piece of this battle is a lack of an equivalent to Nvidia’s DLSS. Nvidia’s AI-powered super sampling technology has been transformative for the games that support it, bringing great image quality and higher frame rates by simply toggling a game setting.
AMD tells me it has a new super sampling feature in testing, which is designed to increase performance during ray tracing. The company is promising its super sampling technology will be open and cross-platform, which means it could come to next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and PS5. AMD is working with a number of partners on this technology, and it’s expecting strong industry support. Unfortunately, this won’t be ready for the launch of these three new Radeon RX 6000 Series cards.
While AMD clearly announced the feature as a part of FidelityFX technology, Tom Warren claims that this technology will be open and cross-platform. It is hard to image NVIDIA supporting FidelityFX supersampling, so we assume that this technology will be part of Microsoft DirectML technology.
XBOX Series X/S also features ML interference acceleration. The AI ‘tensor’ cores require a very small area of the die, while can provide 3-x10x performance improvement, a slide from Microsoft claimed.
DirectML super-resolution a Microsoft technology that was demonstrated back in 2019 during Game Developer Conference. It can provide a higher framerate and lower latency compared to TensorFlow, which was not designed for real-time super-resolution.