During the this year’s GDC event Intel reported on its new graphics solutions, which also included ray tracing and its own XeSS scaling technology for upcoming Arc Alchemist GPUs. In their presentation, Intel software engineers outlined the challenges facing upgrading technologies and what steps are needed to support them to the fullest extent possible.
Temporal supersampling is supposed to not always give the best results. Older games and GPUs may get better results and faster deployment with spatial scaling. Games using ray tracing and other graphics-intensive technologies using the latest GPU hardware are said to produce better performance and temporally enhanced graphics.
Intel XeSS: how it works and performance data
As for how XeSS works, Intel explains that the technology uses machine learning to reconstruct a low resolution frame into a high resolution frame, which can be done at a fraction of the cost of high resolution rendering such as 4K. Intel plans to support all GPU manufacturers with XeSS. The company confirms that all vendor independent versions require their own support for DirectX 12 Shader Model 6.4+ and DP4a. XeSS is said to work best on Intel’s own GPUs and on other architectures with support for the Xe Matrix Extensions (Intel XMX) acceleration included in the Xe cores of Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs.
Intel is said to be already working on using algorithms to eliminate or at least minimize the most common errors that occur when scaling over time. This should include ghosting and blurring for example (see images in image gallery). Differences from current competing technologies are also significant, namely AMD’s FSR 2.0 and Nvidia’s DLSS 2.3. In contrast, Intel’s XeSS is said to offer five quality modes, including the ultra quality mode, which is said to have a scaling factor of 1.3x. FSR and DLSS do not have one, although there have been rumors about it.
The performance benefits that Intel attests to with its XeSS technology also come to the fore with quality modes. Compared to other spatial and temporal scaling technologies, XeSS should allow for higher scaling rates. To determine these values, Intel ran a “Rens demo” on an Arc Alchemist GPU, which is said to have run with a fixed frequency and each of the five quality modes at either 1440p or 4K resolution and ray tracing enabled. The ultra quality mode increased performance by 21 and 27 percent, respectively, while the ultra performance mode is said to have achieved a performance increase of up to 2.53 times.
The Intel Supersampling Technology conference is almost 40 minutes long and goes even deeper in terms of functionality and performance. on Intel Game Developers Conference website the conference is currently accessible. It is not yet clear when XeSS will officially start. A list of compatible games has not yet been released. There may be more on that when the first Arc Alchemist GPUs for mobile are unveiled next week.
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