As promised in their Adrenalin 2022 Edition driver release last week, AMD have broken down more of second generation FidelityFX Super Resolution ahead of its roll-out later this year. The community blog post, timed to coincide with GDC 2022, adds a little more to the story of FSR, it's benefits over Machine Learning (ML)-based approaches, suggested quality settings and compatible hardware recommendations. Throughout it all Deathloop is used as a case study, a game that will likely be one of the first to debut the technology when it's ready for release.
FSR 2.0 has been built from the ground up by AMD to be a temporal upscaler (i.e. it takes previously rendered frames into account through the use of motion vectors) that's both open-source and broadly hardware agnostic. That means it's as compatible with as broad a range of hardware as possible - including competing GPU vendors and the Xbox console platform - whilst also being straightforward for developers to retrofit into game engines.
Like first generation FSR, the aim of the technology is to boost performance by upscaling rendered frames to native monitor resolutions. It could be 1440p -> 4K, 1080p -> 1440p, or a wide selection of resolutions in between. That said, it should be a significant improvement in image quality compared to its first iteration.
In eschewing Machine Learning techniques (such as NVIDIA DLSS and similar features expected from Intel) AMD claim that more novel solutions can be found, i.e. that ML is akin to using a machete to attack a problem rather than a scalpel. Of course, it's pure co-incidence that NVIDIA and Intel hardware have set aside substantial hardware resources to deep learning inferencing and AMD have not.
Either way, AMD believe that FSR 2.0 is an exceptional temporal upscaler that retains image quality while greatly improving frame rates. It's certainly very difficult to discern differences in quality between the static screen captures supplied, but moving images tend to be the true litmus test of such technologies.
Like is predecessor, FSR 2.0 offers a variety of quality modes which, when combined with appropriately selected rendering resolutions, will allow users to tailor performance to the desired levels. Actual frame rate improvements will vary by game and hardware configuration but this level of flexibility should be welcomed by all.
More Demanding Than FSR 1.0
FSR 2.0 is more computationally demanding than FSR 1.0, and as a result AMD have taken the step of listing some recommended hardware for its use at a variety of target resolutions. That being said, they are just recommendations; FSR's open nature may mean that unique approaches can be taken by other parties.
Supporting tech as far back as the Radeon RX 590 or GeForce GTX 1070 is very significant given the ageing nature of many systems still in general use today. It's also notable that AMD and Microsoft are planning to roll the technology out to Xbox consoles, further boosting their performance chops (Playstation is generally known for having a very serviceable upscaler of their own).
AMD have announced that Forspoken by Luminous Productions will join Deathloop in supporting FSR 2.0 late this year. Other news is scheduled to be shared in the next few months, with support arriving for the first tranche of titles in Q2 2022.