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Advanced Micro Devices unveiled the LiquidVR suite of technologies today to help usher in the era of virtual reality applications for games, videos, and other immersive experiences.
AMD announced the initiative at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today. The LiquidVR technologies are aimed at enabling great VR content running on AMD hardware, such as AMD’s microprocessors. The company is working with partners such as Facebook’s Oculus VR, the maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD wants to create plug-and-play compatibility for a wide range of head-mounted displays, or virtual reality goggles. AMD will release the LiquidVR software development kit in the future to enable developers to create compatible VR content.
The company is one of many players that want to create virtual reality, or lifelike virtual worlds for consumers. AMD wants to create “presence,” or the feeling of being physically present in a virtual world. A key obstacle to presence is addressing motion-to-photon latency, or the time between when a user moves their head and when their eyes see an updated frame reflecting that new position. When there’s a mismatch, VR users get motion sickness.
AMD’s graphics processing units (GPUs) and hardware subsystems are aimed at reducing the latency in the processing pipeline. AMD wants to create smooth, “liquid-like motion” and real-time responsiveness for developers.
“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,” said Raja Koduri, the corporate vice president of visual computing at AMD, in a statement. “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.”
Features of the LiquidVR SDK include Async Shaders for smooth head-tracking, Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, data latch for smooth head-tracking, and direct-to-display for attaching head-mounted displays to computers. All of those technologies are aimed at improving the overall VR experience. The alpha version of the SDK is available today.