Introducing Snapdragon Game Super Resolution

    Introducing Snapdragon Game Super Resolution

    Introducing Snapdragon Game Super Resolution

    Posted: 26 Apr 2023

    Snapdragon Elite Gaming provides world-class gaming experiences for everyone. That’s because Snapdragon is loaded with so many desktop-level gaming features, including gaming experiences at 144 frames per second (FPS) that also deliver ultra-smooth graphics at the highest visual quality with true 10-bit HDR so you game in over a billion shades of color. Snapdragon gives your favorite games access to many first-to-market mobile gaming features including real-time Hardware Accelerated Ray Tracing, support for the latest Unreal Engine 5 updates, VRS, Vulkan 1.3 and so much more.

    Today, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. continues to lead in mobile gaming technologies by introducing a new Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature that can maximize mobile game performance and battery life. Introducing Snapdragon Game Super Resolution (GSR).

    What is Super Resolution in gaming?

    Today there are many techniques that allow games to upscale the resolution from a lower resolution to a native resolution. This results in better performance and power savings. Most common upscaling techniques are based on bilinear interpolation (bilerp); these can be power efficient but can compromise on graphics quality by blurring edges and details. Other temporal techniques in the current market increase quality but require inputs that are not common in mobile rendering pipelines today.

    Figure 1: Image quality comparison between Native (1080p) resolution vs. two-times upscaling using Snapdragon GSR and bilerp. “Input” shows the half resolution (540p) target used as input for upscaling as reference.

    What is Snapdragon Game Super Resolution (GSR)?

    Snapdragon GSR is a single pass spatial aware super resolution technique developed by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Studios to achieve optimal super scaling quality at the best performance and power savings.

    Snapdragon GSR single pass solution is the latest first-to-market feature for mobile and XR gaming. It can be used to maximize gaming performance and battery life on devices with Snapdragon and is currently available for key partners. While compatible with most GPUs, it delivers the best performance on Snapdragon platforms.

    How does Snapdragon Game Super Resolution improve games?

    Snapdragon GSR provides several benefits for games on all mobile and XR devices:

    1. Increase resolutions while maintaining visual quality of graphics
    2. Increase frame-rate for smoother gameplay
    3. Increase battery life by lowering power consumption
    4. Increase visual fidelity while maintaining framerate

    With Snapdragon GSR, 1080p games can become sharper 4K games. Games that were only 30 FPS can be played at 60+ FPS so graphics look even smoother. And since performance is correlated with power, you can get these features while extending battery life and gameplay time.

    Snapdragon GSR allows gamers to prioritize based on their personal preference for higher resolution, more FPS, or extend battery life while gaming on the go.

    Figure 2: Snapdragon GSR upscales 1080p games to sharper 4k on mobile and XR devices.

    How does Snapdragon Game Super Resolution work?

    Snapdragon GSR is a single pass spatial upscaling technique optimized for Snapdragon Adreno graphics processing units (GPUs). It uses range-aware dynamic scaling with customizations for the Adreno GPU pipeline, delivering superior graphics quality and power savings. In general, Snapdragon GSR has two times performance improvement compared to other mobile upscaling solutions.

    The following graph (Figure 3) provides insight on the performance of Snapdragon GSR relative to other leading upscaling techniques at various resolution targets:

    Figure 3: Performance comparison of Snapdragon GSR vs other popular upscaling technique.

    In addition to better performance, Snapdragon GSR allows for superior visual quality and graphics that are perceptually close to natively rendering to the game as shown in Figure 4 below.

    Figure 4: Performance and visual comparison of rendering at Native (1080p) resolution vs. using Snapdragon GSR upscaling at various quality rates. This demonstration was created in Unreal Engine 5 with Ray Query shadows at 2 rays per pixel.

    How is Snapdragon Game Super Resolution so fast on Snapdragon hardware?

    Snapdragon GSR uses as few registers, texture samples, and Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) instructions as possible on Adreno hardware. Other upscaling techniques use at least two passes over the input image, which increases bandwidth used by the upscaling process. Snapdragon GSR integrates upscaling and edge sharpening into one pass, reducing latency and memory bus usage thus reducing power consumption and increasing speed. The software’s single pass can be combined with other post processing passes, such as tone mapping, to further improve performance.

    Beyond using a single pass, Snapdragon GSR uses fewer ALU instructions and texture samples than its competitors, resulting in much better shader processor utilization which results in reduced frame times and less power consumption. Snapdragon GSR uses a 12-kernel window where the luminance calculation is done only with the green (G) channel, since the human eye is most sensitive to this color. Thus, Snapdragon GSR samples only use one component for each pixel calculation and performs a three-component interpolation, totaling only 15 texture instructions — Adreno GPUs can entirely hide the latency of these texture samples, yielding 100% shader processor utilization.

    These results are summarized on recent Snapdragon devices:

    Read more: Introducing Snapdragon Game Super Resolution | Qualcomm
    Brink's Avatar Posted By: Brink
    26 Apr 2023


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