AMD LiquidVR – Technologies for Virtual Reality

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD), has announced today, at the Game Developers Conference, an initiative focused on delivering the best possible VR tools for developers and users, through new AMD technologies and partnerships. The first product of this initiative by AMD is LiquidVR, which essentially makes everything for developers much easier. One AMD rep stated during the presentation:

"You can plug an Oculus Rift into a computer and start 3D rendering directly to the headset, even without Oculus' SDK."



LiquidVR marks AMD's first step toward VR support

LiquidVR is a solution for making various VR headsets work easily on various devices, and it also optimizes the use of that headset for that particular computer, presumably powered by AMD chips. LiquidVR is AMD's first step toward VR support, with upcoming partnerships and more in the coming future. Anuj Gosalia,Oculus VR director of engineering, reported that his company is extremely excited about the things AMD is doing in VR, and Oculus is working in implementing AMD's work.

These tools will result in the experience of VR being seemless to the end-user. The Alpha version of the SDK will be available to select developers today. When asked whether AMD is also working with Valve and HTC on the HTC Vive headset, AMD reps, asked whether they could talk about that, so the answer would be yes.

"The number one rule [in AMD VR] is 'do not break the presence, from the first moment the first photon hits your eye, the presence must be maintained. If your graphics card can't keep up, you throw up."

said Raja Koduri, Vice President of Visual and Perceptual Computing, and continued to explain:

“Content, comfort, and compatibility are the cornerstones of our focus on VR at AMD, and we’re taking a big step in all three areas with the introduction of LiquidVR today. With LiquidVR, we’re collaborating with the ecosystem to unlock solutions to some of the toughest challenges in VR and giving the keys to developers of VR content so that they can bring exceptional new experiences to life. AMD will continue to collaborate closely with the VR ecosystem to deliver new LiquidVR technologies that aim to make the virtual world every bit as accurate as the real world.


Significant features of version 1.0 of the LiquidVR SDK include:

  • Async Shaders for smooth head-tracking enabling Hardware-Accelerated Time Warp, a technology that uses updated information on a user’s head position after a frame has been rendered and then warps the image to reflect the new viewpoint just before sending it to a VR headset, effectively minimizing latency between when a user turns their head and what appears on screen.

  • Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, a technology that allows multiple GPUs to work together to improve frame rates in VR applications by allowing them to assign work to run on specific GPUs. Each GPU renders the viewpoint from one eye, and then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image. With this technology, multi-GPU configurations become ideal for high performance VR rendering, delivering high frame rates for a smoother experience.

  • Latest data latch for smooth head-tracking, a programming mechanism that helps get head tracking data from the head-mounted display to the GPU as quickly as possible by binding data as close to real-time as possible, practically eliminating any API overhead and removing latency.

  • Direct-to-display for intuitively attaching VR headsets, to deliver a seamless plug-and-play virtual reality experience from an AMD Radeon™ graphics card to a connected VR headset, while enabling features such as booting directly to the display or using extended display features within Windows.


Images Courtesy of SlashGear



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