Intel Plans Support For Adaptive-Sync... Eventually
Cautionary support for VESA's Adaptive-Sync was expressed this week by Intel Fellow and Chief Graphics Software Architect David Blythe, raising hopes that the chip-making giant will support the standard in the future. Responding to a question posed by TechReport during a Q&A session during the Intel Developers Forum 2015, Blythe stated that they were in principle well-disposed towards DisplayPort 1.2a's optional extension, and intended to support it on their CPUs in the future.
Adaptive-Sync is perhaps better known as a monitor scalar implementation with which AMD's FreeSync* interfaces. It allows dynamic syncing of display refresh timings to frames output by a GPU, ensuring that they're in perfect sync rather than needing to maintain a fixed 60fps/Hz. It's clear to see where Intel, keen to boost the gaming credentials of their integrated GPU, would seen the benefit. NVIDIA's competing technology, G-SYNC, is proprietary and so unavailable to both Intel and AMD.
Blythe however cautioned not to expect it in Skylake, their 6th Generation Core CPU architecture. An additional source indicated to TechReport that Skylake itself may not be compatible with the technology, and so support may have to wait for generation.
The news is likely to be a boost to both monitor manufacturers and AMD, who are all keen to extol the virtues of Adaptive Sync. We also found the technology to be highly promising, and with Intel potentially backing it we hope that support can be broadened to provide the consumer with as much choice as possible.
* FreeSync and Adaptive Sync are technically not interchangeable terms. FreeSync also refers to a certification process, the details of which aren't public but likely at least define a minimum variable refresh rate window. All FreeSync monitors make use of the Adaptive Sync standard, but the reverse is not necessarily true.