Microsoft Building AI Upscaler to Compete with DLSS, FidelityFX – Tom’s Hardware

Microsoft has begun to hire software engineers to develop machine learning-based upscaling algorithms implemented using its DirectX/DirectML application programming interface (API), which is designed for Xbox and Windows systems. The technology will compete both against AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution and Nvidia’s DLSS. 

The software giant recently posted two job openings one for a Senior Software Engineer and another for a Principal Software Engineer for Graphics seeking graphics specialists who will work on the new technology in Redmond, Washington (via TechPowerUp). The openings were posted on June 18 and June 30, just days after AMD officially started to support its FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology on Microsoft’s Windows platform. Since the openings were published last month, it looks like the technology is in its early stages of development. 

There are two competing upscaling technologies for games these days: AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and Nvidia’s deep learning super sampling (DLSS). Both technologies have to be implemented by game developers, but AMD’s FSR works on virtually any GPU (including those from Intel and Nvidia) and does not use any proprietary machine learning techniques, whereas Nvidia’s DLSS requires the company’s GPUs to work. For the sake of truth, it should be noted that Nvidia is not the only company offering a proprietary AI-based upscaling technology. Samsung has been offering one with its high-end televisions for a while. 

As it turns out, Microsoft wants to have the best of both worlds. It wants to use machine learning-based upscaling, implemented using its industry-standard DirectX API that is widely supported by hardware from different vendors.  

Creating universal ML-based upscaling method makes great sense for Microsoft, which has for years focused on providing a consistent gaming experience on Windows no matter which hardware a user has. For hardware developers, a Microsoft-developed technology means that they will know which features to support and how to support them in a bid to provide competitive performance on all of the best graphics cards and even those that don’t quite make the cut.  

One of Microsoft’s job descriptions reads: 

“Xbox is leveraging machine learning to make traditional rendering algorithms more efficient and to provide better alternatives. The Xbox graphics team is seeking an engineer who will implement machine learning algorithms in graphics software to delight millions of gamers. Work closely with partners to develop software for future machine learning hardware. Make a big impact in computer graphics and gaming.”

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