AMD's DLSS-alternative doesn't need machine learning to work

AMD RDNA 2 GPUs edited side-by-side with pink hue
(Image credit: AMD)

After much pining, AMD PC enthusiasts—as well as console gamers, potentially—will finally be getting FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) this year. That's the red team's answer to Nvidia's DLSS, and could mean ray tracing isn't the restrictive force it is right now for the Radeon RX 6000-series cards. There's been no word as to an exact release date but, at some point in 2021 those harbouring an RDNA2 graphics card will be able to enjoy the new, resolution-based performance improving tech—with no need for machine learning.

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FSR is AMD's equivalent to Nvidia's DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) which uses AI to sharpen up frames and stabilise frame rates at higher resolutions, and is essentially what allows GeForce cards to deliver decent performance when using ray traced lighting effects. Though, as AMD's VP of graphics, Scott Herkelman, explains in his recent talk with PCWorld, "you don't need machine learning to do it." 

Herkelman admitted there's still some work to be done, but it's coming along well. He explains that the company has made an effort to involve it's followers in the design process, giving them a chance to really influence the direction the company goes with the technology. 

This dedication to open development may have hampered the process in terms of speed, but it it means developers are more ready and able to collaborate to improve the tech.

Despite AMD's focus is on getting FSR out to PC gamers first, it should also be rolling out as a cross-platform technology. Meaning this isn't just going to benefit PC gamers, but console gamers too thanks to AMD components being packed inside the likes of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox series X and S. 

There was some potential for the FSR feature to have released alongside the Radeon RX 6700 XT, but it seems AMD is waiting for the entire lineup to be available—I use that term loosely—before hitting us with the new tech. 

Still, the list of general FidelityFX-supporting games is growing, showing that the forerunner features for FSR are being taken seriously by developers. And, with each step, AMD comes closer to rolling out this impressive-sounding technological development.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.