Intel Vice President Lisa Pearce has revealed via a video tweet that Intel will add integer scaling support in the end of August. The bad news is that only Intel processors with Gen11 and newer graphics solution will have access to the feature.
Modern monitors are constantly pushing the resolution limit. Unfortunately, not all games, especially older titles, were designed to work with higher resolutions. The most common example is when you try to play a game that only supports the 1280x720 resolution on a 4K gaming monitor (3840x2160). Although there are multiple techniques to scale the image up to the monitor's native resolution, the result isn't always pleasant.
AMD and Nvidia employ bilinear or bicubic interpolation methods for image scaling. However, the final image often turns out blurry, too smooth or too soft. The integer scaling method should help preserve sharpness and jagged edges. Pixel-graphic game and emulator aficionados will surely love the sound of that. The benefits of integer scaling extend far beyond that though, as it opens the door for you to play old games at their native resolution with lossless scaling on high-resolution monitors.
Despite constant petitions from AMD and Nvidia graphics cards owners, neither chipmaker has implemented the integer scaling technique up to this point. So Intel definitely deserves the props for listening to users and taking the first step to add this feature. However, integer scaling is only compatible with Intel processors with Gen11 graphics. The closest candidate is Ice Lake, which should land before the year ends.
According to Pearce, the older Intel parts with Gen9 graphics lack hardware support for nearest neighbor algorithms. While Intel did explore the possibility of a software solution, the chipmaker felt it wasn't viable due to the performance hit. Intel expects to have integer scaling up and running by the end of August. You can enable and disable the feature through the Intel Graphics Command Center software as long as you have a compatible processor.