AMD, joining a fast expanding list of tech companies interested in pursuing virtual reality, has announced a software development kit for implementing its LiquidVR technology. The company described it as a "set of innovative technologies focused on enabling exceptional VR content development" and hopes that it will address a number of issues associated with VR development.
The new initiative, initially in the form of an alpha version SDK, is being handed to a group of select developers as of today, and is essentially a solution to make it easier for various VR headsets to work on various devices. The chipmaker has designed the SDK to simplify the VR experience for both developers and users, more specifically, to improve the user experience in virtual reality.
AMD has put much of its focus on minimising latency, the time between making a physical movement and seeing the action reflected in the virtual world, in order to provide users a fully immersed experience as well as reduce motion sickness. To effectively lessen latency, with hopes of removing it completely, every component, from the software and GPU to the hardware of a VR system needs to be involved.
Headline features of the LiquidVR SDK teased by AMD include a hardware-accelerated 'timewarp' to minimise latency and stuttering, affinity multi-GPU to allow devs to better utilise multiple graphics cards, direct-to-display technologies which give users the ability to boot directly to a VR display and latest data latch programming mechanisms for efficient GPU head tracking. Much of these features are linked with the goal of eliminating any latency between movement and visualisation as it re-images the way frames are rendered.
"Content, comfort, and compatibility are the cornerstones of our focus on VR at AMD and we're taking a big step in all three areas with the introduction of LiquidVR today. With LiquidVR we're collaborating with the ecosystem to unlock solutions to some of the toughest challenges in VR and giving the keys to developers of VR content so that they can bring exceptional new experiences to life," said Raja Koduri, corporate vice president, Visual Computing, AMD, in a press release. "AMD will continue to collaborate closely with the VR ecosystem to deliver new LiquidVR technologies that aim to make the virtual world every bit as accurate as the real world."