Today we bring you a new patent that was was approved on March 29th by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in which ATI, Microsoft's graphics chip partner for the Xbox 360, is patenting a “method and apparatus for supporting anti-aliasing oversampling in a video graphics system that utilizes a custom memory for storage of the frame buffer.” In layman terms, that is embedded video RAM for the GPU to use it as a frame buffer.
In a world exclusive TeamXbox was the first publication to reveal the existence of the embedded video RAM back in February, 2004. What a track record, eh? First we revealed the IBM-Microsoft deal, then this
This new patent, filed in August, 2002, exposes a custom memory used by the graphic chip for storage of the frame buffer.
This custom memory has been created mostly to perform anti-aliasing operations and help overcometoday's biggest problem in graphics chips: memory bandwidth.
Generally, the present invention provides method and apparatus for supporting anti-aliasing oversampling in a video graphics system that utilizes a custom memory for storage of the frame buffer. The custom memory includes a memory array that stores the frame buffer as well as a data path that performs at least a portion of the blending operations associated with pixel fragments generated by a graphics procesor. The fragments produced by a graphics procesor are oversampled fragments such that each fragment may include a plurality of samples. If the sample set for a particular pixel location can be compressed, the compressed sample set is stored within the frame buffer of the custom memory circuit. However, if such compression is not possible, pointer information is stored within the frame buffer on the custom memory, and a sample memory controller included on the graphics procesor maintains a complete sample set for the pixel location within a sample memory. When the sample memory controller maintains a complete sample set for a pixel location, the frame buffer stores a pointer corresponding to the location of the sample set.
The invention can be better understood when viewing the following image:
n.b. l'immagine non sono riuscito a inserirla!
The figure illustrates a block diagram of a “graphics processing system” that supports oversampling anti-aliasing. The system includes a graphics processor (GPU), a sample memory (the standard memory on today's video cards) and a custom memory module (the embedded RAM). The graphics processor, the sample memory, and the custom memory may each be individual integrated circuits.
Embedded DRAM is expensive, because it’s very similar to microprocessors cache memory, so that is why the patent explains that in order to keep costs low, the amount of additional logic included on this custom memory may be minimized. Therefore, although some of the circuitry always found within the video graphics system has been moved onto this new custom memory invention, some functions still remain within the graphics processor in order to keep the production costs low for the custom memory.
So what does all this mumbo jumbo mean? It means we’ll get games running at 720p HDTV resolution, that is 1280x720, with full screen anti-aliasing and almost no impact on framerate. Imagine Project Gotham Racing 3 or those badass Unreal Engine 3-powered games running at some 60 FPS, with full screen anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering taken to the max!
"Il sogno degli hardcore-gamer si avvera" e' la frase finale tradotta.
Addio scalette,problemi di frame,rallentamenti...
Ma mi sa tanto che ci tocchera' comprare un hdtv? porca miseria.