Nvidia is working on expanding its RTX GPU support in a big way, with a new demo at GDC 2021 with high-end gaming technologies such as DLSS and ray-traced lighting running on Arm hardware for the first time.
In particular, the demo Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Nvidia’s”The Bistro” demo running on an RTX 3060 GPU paired with a MediaTek Kompanio 1200 Arm processor (MediaTek’s flagship-level processor planned for a new wave of more powerful Chromebooks). Obviously an RTX 3060 can only run those demos – but it’s the foundation Nvidia is building here, that’s important because it provides the drivers and support needed to run specifically on Arm hardware.
In all, Nvidia says it has ported five RTX technologies to Arm and Linux: DLSS, RTX Direct Illumination, RTX Global Illumination, RTX Memory Utility, and Nvidia’s Optix AI-Accelerated Denoiser. SDKs for those tools for Arm with Linux and Chromium are available now or will be available to developers soon.
And while it will probably be a while before you can buy a Chromebook with an Arm chip and an RTX 3080 GPU, today’s news is an important proof-of-concept that shows that it is both possible to add that support. if that Nvidia is actually interested in building the tools and software it needs.
Of course, Nvidia is doing have a new vested interest in ensuring its GPUs play well with popular Arm-based systems like Chromebooks in the future, given Arm’s (still pending) $40 billion purchase last year.