NVIDIA showcases ray tracing and DLSS support for ARM processors

Minecraft NVIDIA ray tracing
Minecraft NVIDIA ray tracing (Image credit: Mojang Studios / NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA debuts ray tracing and DLSS support on ARM-based processors at the Game Developers Conference (GDC).
  • The tech was demonstrated on a system with a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 CPU and RTX 3060 GPU.
  • Gamers will soon have the choice between x86 (AMD, Intel) and ARM for RTX gaming.

NVIDIA used the Game Developers Conference (GDC) to debut technical demos pairing GeForce RTX tech (ray tracing and DLSS) with an ARM processor from MediaTek. This is a major step forward for the company to open up support for the technologies on processors that are often found in more power-efficient hardware.

The two demos at GDC included Wolfenstein: Youngblood with real-time ray tracing reflections and DLSS enabled on an ARM-based platform, as well as The Bistro with RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI) and NVIDIA Optix AI-Acceleration Denoiser (NRD) enabled. The platform in question had a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU.

This was made possible thanks to NVIDIA porting across software development kits (SDKs) to ARM, including DLSS, RTXDI, NVIDIA Optix AI-Acceleration Denoiser (NRD), RTX Memory Utility (RTXMU), and RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI). It'll be interesting to see if we reach a point where the choice for gaming PCs is not only AMD and Intel but ARM processors too.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • This is 1)to counteract Exynos chips with Radeon graphics therefore ARM socs with FSR. 2)a political move for regulators - as if to say Nvidia is “open to sharing to enable competition”. Which we all know is not true. Nvidia will only share anything as long they benefit one shape or form. Which they do with this move as it enables another facet where Nvidia can push RTX therefore more RTX GPUs. It would be another story if Nvidia bought their graphical capabilities to mediatek socs. But that won't happen unless Mediatek kisses Nvidia's monopolistic ring extremely publicly.
  • I disagree. I think this is more a push to get their RTX hardware positioned as the primary GPU platform for ARM PCs running Windows 11. Windows 11 will support ARM CPUs as 1st-tier systems and MS is going to push them hard. This gives them a leg-up with the "gamer" (and High-Performance) consumer and gives them another reason to purchase an ARM-based Windows 11 system.
    With Nvidia pushing their RTX hardware into every laptop under the sun, this keeps them in the game with the ARM systems. I expect AMD to follow suite with their Radeon 6K hardware and FidelityFX soon.
  • @Khaaannn I did say this move enables Nvidia to push more RTX gpus? So I am not sure where your disagreement stems from lol... AMD has already licensed their Radeon tech to Samsung and is bound to be successful. Which will lead to more licensees. This is ultimately what Nvidia wants to counteract against. This arrangement allows AMD to play in the ARM segment without having to ship ARM SoC en masse themselves. In my opinion Nvidia is caught in a pincer move. Because if oems can get a decent igpu then there is no need for a dgpu for low end and cheap arm based laptops. So if Nvidia will have no choice but to open up their GPU tech to ARM vendors. But, Nvidia dug themselves into a quandry as they went with the proprietary route with RT cores. There is little to no room for RT cores in a ARM SoC. The only solution that works at present is AMDs FSR as it's using existing hardware. So Nvidia either creates a solution that works within the limited power budget of ARM SOCs, drops their RT + DLSS for ARM igpus, tweak DLSS to work better with ARM SoCs (the gpus inside the SoCs without the of use Nvidia dgpus) or they Hijack FSR. Given the current news, it's likely the latter two. As Richard said, Businesses are going to Business.
  • You say that like Apple or Google or Microsoft ever does anything that doesn't directly benefit them. Businesses gonna business.
  • Of course, the article was about Nvidia not Microsoft, Apple, Google etc sooo.... I'm fully aware that corporations aren't charities and need to be held in check.. Lol... The only thing I am for is competion, innovation, open standards and open source.
  • R.I.P x86 👋🙏
  • Is this related to Nvidia's plan to purchase ARM?
  • By extension yes.