Microsoft Teaming Up With AMD To Embed NVIDIA DLSS Substitute Within DirectX, Xbox Series X/S Will Get It Too?

Microsoft is keen to adopt ‘DLSS’ or Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) that NIVIDIA offers within its latest GeForce RTX 3000 Series of graphics cards. It appears the Windows 10 OS maker is attempting to finetune DirectML, a high-performance, hardware-accelerated DirectX 12 library for machine learning, possibly in association with AMD. The NVIDIA DLSS alternative is also expected to be part of Microsoft Xbox Series X gaming hardware.

The new Xbox Series X includes the latest RDNA 2-based AMD Radeon Graphics chip. Hence it is no surprise that Microsoft is looking at alternatives to NVIDIA’s DLSS which intelligently scales up the resolution and offers a very high definition visual content even when it was not originally created with the resolution. It seems Microsoft and AMD are jointly working on DirectML, an alternative to NVIDIA DLSS and the same would also be part of the Xbox Series X. DirectML should work with the high-end AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series of graphics cards.

Microsoft and AMD Developing DirectML To Compete Against DLSS V2.0?

NVIDIA’s DLSS has been getting positive reviews and has proven to be a success for the company. The DLSS Engine is part of the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 Series of graphics cards. DLSS utilizes the Tensor Cores which are part of the Ampere-based graphics cards. In other words, DLSS is a primarily hardware-based engine that works to upscale images and visuals.

[Image Credit: Microsoft via Guru3D]
Microsoft Xbox Series X is powered by RDNA2 AMD Radeon hardware. With DLSS v2.0 offering significant performance improvements, the GeForce RTX 3000 Series of graphics cards certainly have an edge. However, Microsoft and AMD are clearly looking at an alternative that can offer similar features and performance. AMD has been developing DirectML as a substitute for DLSS. However, the company will have to run it over the Compute Engine, which means DirectMl could be a primarily software-based solution.

[Image Credit: Microsoft via Guru3D]
DirectML is reportedly built on top of Direct3D. Microsoft teased an image as an example of the DirectML-based “super-resolution” AI scaling technique with Forza Horizon 3. The comparison shows a frame from the game with DirectML super-resolution (left) and upscaled normal through the bilinear filter (right).

Microsoft could be finetuning DirectML for Xbox Series X and Series S. Moreover, AMD would be looking into using Machine Learning for the new Radeon RX 6000 series desktop graphics cards.  There is still uncertainty about what the performance impact will be and whether it will outweigh the usage of that compute engine. This is because NVIDIA RTX has hardware dedicated to machine deep learning, while the hardware implementation of AMD’s RDNA2 or Big Navi does not.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.