Raja Koduri, an AMD’s graphics chief, is at the center of developing cutting-edge technology that will enable virtual reality headsets to provide life-like visuals in virtual worlds. He’s now advancing AMD’s plan to provide underlying technology to transform Virtual Reality headsets from a niche into a mainstream product.
Koduri’s plan involves availing technology to make Virtual Reality headsets lighter while making visuals more realistic. Another plan is to provide tools so that the 360-degree interactive content isn’t a strain on the eyes or nauseating.
AMD plan to make graphics processors that can provide high-quality graphics on VR headsets. The company on last week unveiled the Radeon Duo Pro, which it praised as the fastest graphics card for VR.
VR is perceived as a massive driver for rapid growth in GPUs, typically like games over the last few decades. AMD has aggressive plans to continue scaling up GPU performance while at the same time driving down power consumption.
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AMD has been working on innovations such as high-speed High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) memory so that GPUs can draw up images faster. HBM is a type of memory that accommodates more internal memory bandwidth than the current GDDR5 memory. This technology will continue to scale up with Polaris and other architectures.
AMD will not unveil its own headset as it is contented with the technologies in headsets from companies such as Oculus and HTC. On the other hand, Sony plans to unveil a PlayStation VR headset for its PlayStation 4 console this year, which is powered by an AMD chip.
Koduri plans to provide components so that VR headsets can be untethered completely from PCs. It is not known when that will be practical, but the product development is heading in that direction. They are pushing on something that is much lighter to put on.
Aggressive plans are underway to make a HoloLens-like headset with AMD chips which does not need to be tethered to PCs. The headset enables users to interact with 3D objects that appear as floating images superimposed on the real world, just like holographic projections.
Many processing elements will drive VR in the future. Much of processing for VR contents will take place in the cloud, but many small issues need to be complete. AMD has a clear vision to provide technology that is compatible with graphics processing on the GPU headset with VR content generated in the cloud.
Other than the hardware, AMD is also developing software tools like Liquid VR which is a virtual reality software development and rendering kit that will guide users to make good VR applications. The Liquid VR tools are available through GPU Open, a set of low-level APIs so that developers can take absolute advantage of features on the Radeon GPUs.
AMD is also working hand in hand with external development tools, and could exploit APIs such as DirectX 12 and Vulkan. Sulon Q is a good example of the headset of how AMD will optimize the Microsoft’s DirectX 12 tools to unleash VR experiences.