Gaming Technology: AMD bets big on cloud gaming

With popular e-sports titles and advent of VR games, the hardware and software performance of graphic cards play critical factors.

With popular e-sports titles and advent of VR games, the hardware and software performance of graphic cards play critical factors.

AMD, the American semiconductor major, is eyeing a big opportunity through the next leap in gaming technology—cloud gaming. The company is taking its deep-gaming expertise to cloud with data centre-class graphics processing unit (GPU) technologies to enable the future of cloud gaming. Cloud gaming is evolving as a new trend among gamers as 5G is evolving and there is no need for expensive hardware.

Vinay Sinha, MD, Sales, AMD India, said: “Our recent partnership with Google to build GPUs for its Stadia platform is an example of that. We will support Google with our software development tools and Linux-based, open-source Vulkan driver to help game developers optimise future titles to run on the new GPU powered platform.” He added that AMD is ready to support partners with scalable solutions that power spectacular gaming experiences directly from the cloud across PCs, consoles, smart TVs and smartphones. “With our partnership with Google’s Project Stream, we would enable them to push the edge of computing through the cloud, allowing PC games on the cloud to be run in datacentres and then streamed on the users’ devices,” he added.

Gaming is all about creating real experiences virtually with exceptional performance and seamless game play. With popular e-sports titles and advent of VR games, the hardware and software performance of graphic cards play critical factors.

“Gamers today are well-informed about their choices to build powerful gaming rigs or purchase notebooks with varying budgets. We see the market opportunity and growth for graphic cards at a positive high as value conscious consumers want uninterrupted game play without compromising on the quality or engagement,” he said.

Game developers hold the key to driving the adoption of newer platforms. AMD’s partnership with game developers has led to near life-like visuals in many games thereby enhancing the user experience. From running pixel driven screens back in the ’90s to near life-like visuals in new-age games, graphics become an enabler for such realism to come to life. “Our graphics technology forms the backend on which game developers build such experiences. As we see game developers launch new titles and upgrade older titles, we believe that the discrete graphics market has surely got potential to grow from here,’’ Sinha explained.

Game development companies in India have begun adopting augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and cloud to make an impact in the gaming industry. This growth is also prompting investors, advertisers and global game development companies to track the Indian gaming market and be part of this growth trajectory.

“With our recent announcement of partnership with Samsung, we will soon be on smartphones as well. Samsung will license AMD graphics IP to advance graphics technologies and solutions that are critical for enhancing innovation across mobile applications,’’ he added.

Cloud gaming, as a concept, has existed for a while now. However, last mile connectivity, bandwidth along with data centre technologies that could drive an immersive user experience were pain points. 5G technology addresses the issues of last-mile connectivity and bandwidth but building a data centre which is capable to deliver a game as a service, is still a challenge. Game inputs, visualisation, license management have to be real-time which pose challenges in the data centre.

India is a key market for AMD’s growth across compute, graphics and the data centre. With its Ryzen CPUs, Radeon GPUs and AMD powered laptops, it continues to build its market momentum through strategic partnerships with OEMs, retail, e-tailers and channel partners to expand its market reach. AMD-powered gaming laptops and desktops are in Asus, Acer, and soon from HP, MSI and Lenovo and its Radeon graphic card sales have more than doubled every quarter.

On the growing trend of gaming notebooks in the country, Sinha said, “India is a young country with 40% of the population under the age of 40. These consumers are digitally aware and seek devices that offer the best for work, gaming and entertainment without any compromise on the performance.” According to him, with the growing power-performance ratio in micro-processors coupled with the APU approach that AMD pioneered, it is now possible to get desktop class performance with the power savings necessary for mobility. The GPU technologies have also achieved strong power and performance envelopes thereby enabling the thermals to be put into a laptop form factor.