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Qualcomm launches Snapdragon Game Super Resolution for better mobile performance and battery


Apr 26, 2023
Qualcomm launches Snapdragon Game Super Resolution for better mobile performance and battery


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Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Game Super Resolution (GSR), which will help the performance and battery efficiency of mobile games.

The tech for smartphone and XR gaming will be enabled in Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile, a high-profile game coming from Activision.

Snapdragon GSR is a single pass spatial aware super-resolution technique from Qualcomm Snapdragon Studios to achieve optimal super scaling quality at the best performance and power savings. It means that 4K resolution is possible with 1080p source.

In a blog post, Qualcomm’s Siqi Li, Yunzhen Li and Dave Durnil said goal of Snapdragon Elite Gaming is to take desktop-level gaming features and make them available as gaming experiences for everyone.


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With Snapdragon tech today, you can already experience gaming at 144 frames per second (FPS) delivering ultra-smooth graphics at the highest visual quality with true 10-bit HDR so you game with over a billion shades of color. Snapdragon supports real-time hardware accelerated ray tracing, Unreal Engine 5 updates, VRS, Vulkan 1.3 and more.

Super resolution

Return to Empire from Tencent Timi

Today there are many techniques that allow games to upscale the resolution from a lower resolution to anative resolution. This results in better performance and power savings. Most common upscaling techniques are based on bilinear interpolation – these can be power efficient but can compromise on graphics quality by blurring edges and details.

Other temporal techniques in the market today increase quality but require inputs that are not common in mobile rendering pipelines today.

It’s currently available for key partners. While compatible with most GPUs, it delivers the best performance on Snapdragon platforms.

Snapdragon GSR provides several benefits for games on all mobile and XR devices. It increases resolutions while maintaining visual quality of graphics. It can increase framerates for smoother gameplay, increase battery life by lowering power consumption, increase visual fidelity while maintaining framerate.

With Snapdragon GSR, 1080p games can become sharper 4K games. Games that were only 30 frames per second can be played at 60+ FPS so graphics look even smoother. And since performance is correlated with power, you can get these features while extending battery life and gameplay time.

Snapdragon GSR is a single pass spatial upscaling technique optimized for Snapdragon Adreno GPUs. It uses range-aware dynamic scaling with customizations for the Adreno GPU pipeline, delivering superior graphics quality and power savings.

In general, Snapdragon GSR has two times the performance improvement compared to other mobile upscaling solutions. Snapdragon GSR uses as few registers, texture samples, and Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) instructions aspossible on Adreno hardware.

Snapdragon GSR can upscale content.

Other upscaling techniques use at least two passes over the input image, which increases bandwidth used by the upscaling process. Snapdragon GSR integrates upscaling and edge sharpening into one pass, reducing latency and memory bus usage thus reducing power consumption and increasing speed.

The software’s single pass can be combined with other post-processing passes (like tone mapping) to further improve performance. Beyond using a single pass, Snapdragon GSR uses fewer ALU instructions and texture samples than its competitors, resulting in much better shader processor utilization which results in reduced frame times and less power consumption.

Snapdragon GSR uses a 12-kernel window where the luminance calculation is done only with the green channel, since the human eye is most sensitive to this color. Snapdragon GSR samples only use one component for each pixel calculation and perform a three-component interpolation, totaling only 15 texture instructions – Adreno GPUs can entirely hide the latency of these texture samples, yielding 100% shader processor utilization.

“By tapping into the unique capabilities of the Snapdragon Game Super Resolution technology, our development team has been able to easily enhance the upscaling and rendering performance of Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile on a variety of different mobile devices which will ultimately deliver our players potentialbenefits in increased framerate, sharper graphics and extended battery life,” said Erik Beran, technical director of mobile programming at Activision, in a statement.

Mobile games and XR products with Snapdragon GSR are expected to launch later this year.

“With Snapdragon GSR, Return to Empire can be rendered at a lower resolution, which improves gameperformance and frame rates, and maintains a high visual quality,” said Chengqi Xiao, technical director of Return to Empire. “Now gamers could get a much smoother gaming experience with thousand actors in the view without sacrificing visual quality.”

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