Using better hardware and software to make VR go faster was a common thread across all the presentations, and the demos, at Capsaicin. Faster response not only makes for a more-realistic VR experience, but is a key factor in reducing the motion sickness induced in many people by laggy VR offerings. The trouble is that not only does a VR experience need to be producing frames at 90fps for smooth motion, it needs to produce two of them at a time one for each eye. So, instead the more-traditional 60fps target for most games, the GPU and CPU need to be churning out frames every second — with a lag of less than 15 milliseconds to get to the sweet spot of responsiveness. AMD has innovated in a number of areas to help developers achieve this goal. LiquidVR is their name for a set of capabilities that it is making available with its newest GPU offerings.
AMD’s ‘Liquid VR’ SDK Aims to Make VR Development Painless
Download AMD FirePro Liquid VR Driver Beta for Windows 7, Windows , Windows 10
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AMD’s ‘LDK’ is a ‘Liquid VR’ PC Platform for Developers, to Ship with CryEngine this Year
One of the biggest problems with the future of VR gaming is the latency - the time in which moving your head, and seeing that movement happen in the virtual world, is measured. This needs to be as small as possible, with the hope of removing it completely. In order to achieve this, the software and GPU need to be tweaked to the max. Starting with hardware-accelerated time warp, which uses updated information to the user wearing the VR headset, and the position of their head after a frame has been rendered, and then it warps the image to reflect the new viewpoint as soon as it sends it to the headset. The multi-GPU side of things will see each independant GPU in your system, which would end up being a Radeon R9 X or so, with each card rendering a separate eye, and then into the single image that is blasted to your VR headset.
One of the keys to enabling a great VR experience is providing low-latency input and display updates. While the core concepts of VR have been around for quite a while, most of the early attempts—particularly in the 80s and 90s—were plagued by low resolution displays with relatively high latency. Graphics fidelity has obviously come a long way since Lawnmower Man , though many of the tech demos and early games we're seeing today aren't going after photo-realistic graphics. But in all cases, keeping frame rates high and consistent and latency low is the name of the game.