NVIDIA Is Launching Two SDKs For Virtual Reality
Next year is a big year for PC gaming–virtual reality is going commercial and everybody who can call themselves a “Captain Of Industry” in the tech space has at least go a few fingers in the VR pie. One of those fingers happen to be a shade of NVIDIA green, and have started to increase their focus on VR with the launch of two new SDKs, known as GameWorks VR and DesignWorks, which will help developers build VR applications and experiences. It’s rumoured that these SDKs will include technology which is capable of bumping of performance by as much as 50% in some cases, although I would take that figure with a large dosage of salt–just because a game has GameWork tech, does not mean the tech will run pretty with NVIDIA hardware, just ask all those gamers with NVIDIA GPUs trying to use HairWorks in The Witcher 3.
Regardless, NVIDIA are confident and it’s always good for adoption of a technology when an SDK library is made available to developers:
VR is a complex challenge, especially since immersive VR requires seven times the graphics processing power compared to traditional 3D apps and games. To solve this problem, NVIDIA today officially released the 1.0 version of two powerful VR software development kits (SDKs): NVIDIA GameWorks VR and NVIDIA DesignWorks VR.
These tools are designed to use GeForce and Quadro GPUs to perform at their best by increasing performance, lowering latency (such as context switching–and important aspect for VR according to Oculus developers) and improving hardware compatibility. One of the more important tools NVIDIA is touting is multi-res shading, which is a new rendering technique that is the primary reason for the 50% performance increase. It does this using a new rendering technique whereby each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that matches the pixel density of the warped image required by the headset.
As an added bonus for those power users keen for SLI, the GameWorks VR SDK also allows support for SLI, which will mean dual-GPU setups will be able to allocate one GPU to rendering for each eye. This would also mean stereo rendering will increase substantially as a result. AMD is pushing their LiquidVR SDK, and now NVIDIA has released theirs, possibly also jostling for a spot in the Oculus ready pre-built machines for next year.
2016 is going to be an interesting year for VR and graphics technology. Anybody else finally think Johnny Quest levels of awesome is just around the corner?