Wednesday, July 7th 2021

Microsoft Seemingly Looking to Develop AI-based Upscaling Tech via DirectML

Microsoft seems to be throwing its hat in the image upscale battle that's currently raging between NVIDIA and AMD. The company has added two new job openings to its careers page: one for a Senior Software Engineer and another for a Principal Software Engineer for Graphics. Those job openings would be quite innocent by themselves; however, once we cut through the chaff, it becomes clear that the Senior Software Engineer is expected to "implement machine learning algorithms in graphics software to delight millions of gamers," while working closely with "partners" to develop software for "future machine learning hardware" - partners here could be first-party titles or even the hardware providers themselves (read, AMD). AMD themselves have touted a DirectML upscaling solution back when they first introduced their FidelityFX program - and FSR clearly isn't it.

It is interesting how Microsoft posted these job openings in June 30th - a few days after AMD's reveal of their FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) solution for all graphics cards - and which Microsoft themselves confirmed would be implemented in the Xbox product stack, where applicable. Of course, that there is one solution available already does not mean companies should rest on their laurels - AMD is surely at work on improving its FSR tech as we speak, and Microsoft has seen the advantages on having a pure ML-powered image upscaling solution thanks to NVIDIA's DLSS. Whether Microsoft's solution with DirectML will improve on DLSS as it exists at time of launch (if ever) is, of course, unknowable at this point.
Sources: Microsoft Opening for Senior Software Engineer, Microsoft Opening for Principal Software Engineer, via TechSpot
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6 Comments on Microsoft Seemingly Looking to Develop AI-based Upscaling Tech via DirectML

#1
ZoneDymo
we used to have the "console wars" and the more techy "bit wars", now let commence the upscale wars! .....hey where you all going? no you are not getting your money back! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!??!!?
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#2
Raevenlord
News Editor
ZoneDymowe used to have the "console wars" and the more techy "bit wars", now let commence the upscale wars! .....hey where you all going? no you are not getting your money back! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!??!!?
Props for the comment man, made me laugh :laugh:
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#3
dicktracy
AI is better than any algorithms ala FSR. This is the way.
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#4
Vader
It seems that in the future, no matter the game, it will likely feature some kind of upscaling. This is good for everyone
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#5
watzupken
Perhaps this can be the standard for AI upscaling in the future rather than having different consoles and GPU makers coming up with their own bespoke AI upscaling technology.
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#6
juular
nVidia's DLSS is not just upscaling, it's TAA + upscaling essentially. Just DL upscaling is nothing new really, maybe not in gaming upplications tho, but not because it's hard to do, because it's hardly useful, you still don't have any more information to reconstruct the image, it would be just a bit better than conventional upscaling techniques while utilizing way more resouces (if there are no hardware DL acceleration). DLSS on the other hand, gets this additional information from previous frames by shifting the rendered pixels a bit so each previous frame, which is enough to add enough new information for the upscaling algo to be way more effective.
The picture in the article looks like just conventional DL upscaling, but it looks like it's just applied to a still image, so maybe they're just that early in the development stage that they don't have a working renderer with temporal part of upscaling yet, hopefully ... Because otherwise it would be yet another FSR. While we need an open source and more widely accepted alternative to DLSS.
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