Like many others, GPU manufacturer Nvidia is betting big on the future of virtual reality (VR) technology. Over the past few years the company has closely aligned itself with VR specialists such as Oculus VR to integrate its products and other services with head-mounted displays (HMDs). A big part of Nvidia’s VR plans are being realised today, as the company has released its GameWorks VR and DesignWorks VR software development kits (SDKs) that will help those working in VR get the most out of their experiences in terms of performance.
As explained in a video below, GamesWorks VR offers a number of systems and techniques to help VR developers. The first of these is VR SLI, which increases the performance of apps by assigning different GPUs to render images for each eye when in-HMD, though this obviously only applies to systems with at least two GPUs. Multi-Res Shading, which VRFocus reported would be making its way to Unreal Engine 4 earlier this month, which prioritises rendering in areas based on where the player is looking using Maxwell’s multi-projection architecture.
The remaining three features are for HMD developers. They include Context Priority in which developers can control GPU scheduling to favour VR features, Direct Mode support for that a Windows PC treats the respective HMD as just that rather than another monitor, and Front Buffer Rendering which ‘enables the GPU to render directly to the front buffer to reduce latency.’
DesignWorks VR, meanwhile, is for those developing professional VR applications for a range of different industries. It adds tools such as Warp and Blend, a set of APIs that provide geometry corrections and intensity adjustments, Synchronization which consists of ways to stop tearing and image misalignment, GPU Affinity for performance improvements and Direct for Video which enables VR and augmented reality environments such as head-mounted displays, CAVES/immersive displays and cluster solutions.
VRFocus will continue to follow Nvidia’s work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.