GDC 2021 | ARM-powered Chromebooks with RTX GPUs may soon be a reality: Nvidia shows off RTX and DLSS running on a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 platform
ARM-powered laptops may soon offer ray tracing and AI upscaling capabilities. At the ongoing Game Developers Conference (GDC), Nvidia demoed its RTX technology in combination with a MediaTek ARM processor-powered device. The demos included Wolfenstein: Youngblood with real-time ray tracing and deep learning super sampling (DLSS) enabled, and a demo of The Bistro with ray tracing and AI denoising enabled.
Nvidia said that the test device was a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 (MT8195) SoC paired with a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. The company has ported several RTX SDKs to ARM. These include:
- RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI) that lets game developers add dynamic lighting to the environment
- RTX Memory Utility (RTXMU) that enables optimal use of available graphics memory
- RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI) that helps developers to recreate the way light bounces in the real-world
- Nvidia Optix AI-Acceleration Denoiser (NRD) that uses AI to speed up rendering of high-fidelity images
According to Nvidia, RTXDI, NRD, and RTXMU are available for ARM platforms running Linux and Chromium with RTXGI and DLSS set to follow soon. Recently, the company also enabled RTX technologies for Linux gamers via Proton. It may be noted here there is no commercial release of Wolfenstein: Youngblood planned for ARM devices yet.
While we haven't seen laptop OEMs announcing any plans of "gaming Chromebooks" yet, the potential for such advanced graphics may make Chromebooks enticing for both study and play. We may also potentially see more capable Windows-on-ARM devices that can offer the combined benefits of ARM's always-on-computing and the power of high-end mobile GPUs.
It is not yet clear whether AMD would also introduce high-end GPUs for Chromebooks and other ARM-based laptops but with RDNA 2 all set to debut in Samsung's upcoming Exynos 2200 SoC, we may not be far off from a similar offering from Team Red as well.
Nvidia Press Release