NVIDIA recently said that it was working with MediaTek to bring RTX graphics to ARM-based laptops, and now it has shown what that might look like for gamers. At the Game Developers Conference (GDC), it unveiled a technical demo with an RTX-powered MediaTek ARM processor running Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
NVIDIA showed off real time ray-traced reflections and DLSS on the game using an ARM-based platform for the first time. It also showed off a demo called Bistro (from Amazon's Lumberyard game engine) running real-time ray-tracing on ARM, with RTX direct illumination (RTXDI) and NVIDIA Optix AI-acceleration denoiser (NRD) features turned on. The demos ran on a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 ARM-based platform combined with a GeForce RTX 3060 GPU.
NVIDIA made the tech work by porting several RTX SDKs to ARM devices. Those include deep learning super sampling (DLSS) to boost sharpness, RTX direct illumination, NVIDIA Optix AI-acceleration denoiser, the RTX memory utility (RTXMU) and RTX global illumination. NVIDIA said that the RTXDI, NRD and RTXMU SDKs for ARM with Linux are now available for developers, with RTXGI and DLSS coming soon.
Of course, you won't get to see any of this until manufacturers add RTX hardware to their ARM-based laptops, Chromebooks or other devices. Game manufacturers will also need to implement the tech for ARM-based games. However, both the Wolfenstein: Youngblood developer and game engine company seem bullish.
“RTX support for ARM and Linux opens up new opportunities for game developers to provide more immersive experiences on a wider variety of platforms,” said Unity's senior technical product manager Mathieu Muller. "An iD Tech-based game running on an ARM CPU with ray tracing enabled is a significant step in a journey that will result in many more gaming platforms being available to all game developers," added Machinegames CTO Jim Kjellin.
Of course, NVIDIA's relationship with ARM is set to get a whole lot closer as it bought the company last year for $40 billion. However, the deal is subject to regulatory approval and NVIDIA rival (and ARM customer) Qualcomm has objected to the deal. On top of that, ARM employees 3,000 people in the UK and that country's regulator is currently investigating the sale.