(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBfci5hYN1c (/ embed)
Nvidia is paving the way for fully GeForce-powered laptops, which could set aside Microsoft, Intel and AMD in their search for high-performance gaming laptops. The green team has already done that has demonstrated the power of ray tracking and DLSS running on a Linux distribution, in ARM-based silicon, with RTX graphics cards.
And that should scare everyone shit out of the traditional Microsoft / x86 PC gaming monopoly.
So yeah, sure it seems GDC 2021 it kicks off strongly, as Nvidia has demonstrated today Wolfenstein: Youngblood that works with enabled ray tracing reflexes and DLSS running on a system that uses an eight-core MediaTek CPU and an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU.
I imagine this is an Arm-based gaming laptop, as we've heard of the two companies working together on a reference laptop specification after the Nvidia Graphics Technology Conference in in April of this year.
At the time Rick Tsai said MediaTek looks forward to using our technology and working with NVIDIA to bring the power of GPUs to the ARM PC platform for gaming, content creation and more. GPU acceleration will be a big boost for the entire ARM ecosystem. "
And today we seem to have the fruits of this effort with Nvidia announcing and showing the fact that it has brought several key RTX SDKs for compatibility with Arm systems. This includes:
- Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), which uses artificial intelligence to increase frame rate and generate beautiful, sharp images for games.
- RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI), which allows developers to add dynamic lighting to their gaming environments.
- NVIDIA Optix AI-Acceleration Denoiser (NRD), which uses AI to render high-fidelity images faster.
- RTX Memory Utility (RTXMU), which optimizes the way applications use graphics memory.
- RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI), which helps recreate the way light bounces in real-world environments.
The DLSS and global lighting SDKs will arrive soon, but the rest is ready and will work right now with Arm with Linux and Chromium.
The MediaTek chip used in this demonstration is a high-end, small, low-end MT8195 CPU based on TSMC’s N6 process (nominally 6nm), which supports LPDDR4x-4266. This means it has four large ARM Cortex-A78 cores and four smaller ARM Cortex-A55 cores.
But making the right games is an Nvidia RTX 3060, most likely the laptop version that is a little tastier than the desktop GPU of the same name.
"MediaTek and NVIDIA are laying the groundwork for a new category of high-performance arm-based PCs," says PC Tseng, GM of MediaTek.
This could be a huge thing for PC games and will offer a new platform outside the hegemony of Windows and x86 that has been around for a long time. It is true that there are preview versions of Windows 11 arms already available in nature, which carry native and emulation applications, but with this latest demonstration of Nvidia RTX running on the Arch Linux distribution, it proves that laptops gaming could soon have a very different heart, far removed from the tradition of Microsoft, Intel and AMD.
And it could also be huge for Nvidia.
If it is allowed to proceed with Nvidia’s planned purchase of Arm (several parties are said to be involved, most notably the UK government where Arm is headquartered), this could lead to fully Nvidia-based gaming laptops. I’ve already proposed the ShieldBook name, and you can have it on me, Jen-Hsun.
“This is the first time real-time ray tracking has been done and DLSS is demonstrated on an Arm-based platform,” Nvidia says of the demonstration. "Demonstrations mark the latest milestone in a journey to bring advanced graphics to Arm-based systems. The potential is huge: billions of consumers rely on Arm-based devices every day. To realize that the potential will require great technology and an ecosystem building effort. NVIDIA has a unique position to move forward. "
But if the idea of Linux games makes you tremble, I can also point out that the new SteamOS 3.0 software, which will also run the new Steam Deck, has just changed its base distribution from Debian to Arch.
Therefore, there is a very good chance of seeing an Nvidia Arm-based laptop in the future running on SteamOS from the outset. Maybe that means we’ll get a Steam Book too.