Apple MetalFX Upscaling Tech is Based on AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution

Apple recently brought multiple AAA titles to its custom Arm silicon. These ports use the Metal API, exclusive to the company’s iOS systems. At WWDC 2023, Metal got its first notable upscaling technology MetalFX, a delayed response to NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) upscaling filter.

Traditionally, Apple has used its proprietary technologies to power its software and hardware IP, especially since it ditched Intel chips in favor of in-house Arm silicon. One would assume that its MetalFX spatial and temporal upscaler (also proprietary) would also be built from the ground up from first-party code. However, that’s not the case. MetalFX is built atop AMD’s FSR upscaling technology, an open-source “GPUOpen” component, free for anyone to adopt or tweak.

AMD FSR 3 vs NVIDIA DLSS 3: Which is Better?

Interestingly, several AAA PC titles ported to Metal also support AMD’s FSR upscaling tech. The most notable examples include Death Stranding, No Man’s Sky, Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, Lies of P, Baldur’s Gate 3, and The Medium. The base FSR code got PC titles like Resident Evil VIII and Baldur’s Gate 3 working on the Apple iPhone 15 Pro.

Being an open-source technology, Apple doesn’t need to pay AMD any royalties, and if not spotted by NBC, this might never have become public knowledge. MetalFX still lags behind NVIDIA’s DLSS 3.5 upscaling technology that uses ray reconstruction and frame generation technologies to boost ray tracing quality and performance. AMD recently provided the source code for the FSR 3 “Frame Generation” filter, which performs similarly to DLSS 3 and works on all GPUs, including integrated graphics.

Source: Notebookcheck.

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