AMD CEO: Ray Tracing Is an Important Technology We’re Working on; NVIDIA Embracing FreeSync Says We Made the Right Choice

Jan 13, 2019
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AMD CEO Lisa Su hosted the company’s CES 2019 conference a few days ago. She announced the new Radeon VII GPU, due on the market next month.

After the conference ended, the AMD CEO engaged with the press in a roundtable Q&A transcribed and published by PC World, where she reiterated that ray tracing is important to AMD but the ecosystem (the software support in games, basically) is not there yet. She couldn’t provide a time frame for when the company will discuss its ray tracing plans, though.

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I’m not going to get into a tit for tat, that’s just not my style. So I’ll tell you that. What I will say is ray tracing is an important technology. It’s one of the important technologies; there are lots of other important technologies and you will hear more about what we’re doing with ray tracing. You know, we certainly have a lot going on, both hardware and software, as we bring up that entire ecosystem.

I would say that we are deep into development and that development is concurrent between hardware and software. And so for us, it’s, you know, what is the consumer going to see? The consumer doesn’t see a lot of benefit today because the other parts of the ecosystem are not ready. I think by the time we talk more about ray tracing, the consumers will see that.

Perhaps the biggest news NVIDIA revealed at CES 2019 was their decision to open up and embrace the VESA Adaptive Sync standard, allowing the activation of G-SYNC on those displays. Of course, we all know that standard is largely derived from AMD’s original FreeSync initiative. During the Q&A, AMD CEO Lisa Su commented on the news, too, suggesting this turn of events validates AMD’s choice made years ago.

Look, we knew FreeSync was the right answer. We’ve known FreeSync was the right answer for a couple of years. The fact that others have decided that FreeSync is the right answer, I think, says that we made the right choice a few years ago.

We believe in open standard. You know, we believe in open ecosystems. That’s been a mantra. So we have no issue with our competitors about FreeSync. And we think that just means that, you know, it’s better for gamers and we did a good job.

A reporter asked her to comment on the highly variable quality of FreeSync displays, though Lisa Su doesn’t see a problem there.

Well, if you really think about it, what problem are you trying to solve? I mean, the way we look at it, is there’s a whole host of monitors and TVs out there—over 550—with very different price levels: entry level, to super-duper premium, and gaming monitors. And we certify; we make sure they work with FreeSync, and you will get the experience you pay for on monitors. I don’t actually see a problem.

As a reminder, the driver update that’s going to enable G-SYNC on Adaptive Sync displays is due for release on January 15th.

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