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AMD TrueAudio Next Reserves Part Of Your GPU For Physics-Based Acoustic Rendering

AMD announced TrueAudio Next, an open source physics-based acoustic rendering technique that leverages the parallel processing power of AMD GPUs. TrueAudio Next is part of AMD’s LiquidVR initiative, which is open source and free for anyone.

For a long time, this kind of advancement in audio technology wasn’t really necessary for personal computing. Surround sound algorithms do an acceptable job approximating audio sources when your head is more or less in a stationary position. In VR, immersive audio becomes much more important. In fact, many experts agree that the auditory experience is responsible for more than half of the immersive experience. If the sound profile of objects and environments doesn’t sound right, it breaks the immersion. For example, if you step outside of a building in a VR experience, you would expect the audio to change with the environment. Furthermore, if there is an object between you and the sound source, you’d expect the auditory experience to be different than if there wasn’t an obstruction between you and the sound.

In May, during the 10-series (Pascal) launch, Nvidia revealed VR Works Audio, a physics-based audio technology that leverages Nvidia’s GPUs to render an environment with ray tracing technology, which is then applied to the sound profile to create accurate physics reactive sound waves. Now, AMD has technology that does more or less the same thing.

AMD TrueAudio Next is AMDs answer to VR Works Audio. It takes advantage of AMD’s Radeon Rays ray tracing technology to map the digital environment’s physical space and the objects within it to produce a real-time, dynamic, physics-based audio rendering. TrueAudio Next then uses this information to map out the entire soundscape of the environment, which can have “more than 32 stereo 2-second convolution sources.” AMD said this allows TrueAudio Next to “deliver spatially- and positionally-accurate audio.”

AMD said that taking advantage of TrueAudio Next to process audio signals can be done without adding any latency to the graphics rendering process thanks to a feature called CU Reservation. CU Reservation allows for a section of Compute Units to be segregated from the graphics rendering pipeline and reserved for other tasks, such as TrueAudio Next’s Radeon Ray tracing tasks.

AMD said that the CE Reservation technology is available only to approved developers, but TrueAudio Next doesn’t rely on CU Reservation to function, it simply adds more predictability to how the audio signals are handled.

AMD TrueAudio Next is part of AMD’s LiquidVR SDK, which open source and available through AMD’s Github repository. For more information about LiquidVR, Radeon Rays or TrueAudio Next, visit the GPUOpen website.

  • Puiucs
    A really cool way of using the ACEs in AMD's GPUs
    Reply
  • fixxxer113
    Interesting idea! I remember playing the original Half-Life where one of the sound engine features was the ability to change the way effects sounded depending on the shape, size and material of the room. Back then I thought maybe one day we could do away with pre-recorded effects completely and have a physics engine handle the generation of sound. Some kind of algorithm that would calculate the wheight, density and other properties of objects and would create the appropriate sounds when they touched, collided etc. I guess it would be a lot more complex than what physics engines do for movement and collision but I think the only limit is computational power. Maybe AMD made the first step towards that.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    "Maybe AMD made the first step towards that."

    NOT.

    Once again, AMD is one step behind nvidia and intel in both innovation and performance not withstanding just their CPUs and Vid cards... AMD might as well rename themselves CHINA, as that would give them an excellent synonym in terms of the products they punch out: Underwhelming, cheap knockoffs of something else...
    Reply
  • Vatharian
    Get. The hell. Out. Of. My. GPU!

    Jokes aside, advanced audio processors and 3D audio positioning is bound to be moved from actual sound cards to physics engine, I suppose, while sound processors will probably end up as simple renderers of final audio stream, d/a converters (digital audio hasn't penetrated the market deep enough... yet?) and mixers.

    I just feel conflicted about using GPU processing time for this. I know that GPGPUs were invented precisely for this, yet part of me would love to see return of hardware similar to Ageia PhysiX.
    Reply
  • mlscrow
    "Once again, AMD is one step behind nvidia and intel in both innovation and performance"

    Actually, it's been nVidia who has copied AMD here (AMD invented True Audio years ago. nV copied and added Audio Works, and AMD simply updated their True Audio into True Audio Next, with that said, it goes to show that you have no idea what you're talking about. Also, who owns the crown for price/performance? Yup AMD. Who holds DX12 performance? AMD Who holds compute performance, AMD. Who holds the entire console gaming industry? AMD. Who can make x86 CPU's to go along with their GPU's? AMD. Who owns 80+% of the VR industry? AMD. Who was the first and only GPU maker to have a card that uses HBM? AMD. Who has turned their company from a disaster into a success in recent times? AMD. Who is going to outgrow and outperform nVidia as a result of all of their innovations and success? AMD. Who will continue to dump money into dirty business tactics? nVidia.

    I liked nVidia for a long time (I still have an nVidia gpu in my PC), but the more I learn about them and the intricacies of the GPU industry, the more I'm starting to seriously dislike nVidia's business practices. AMD is all for the people, making just about everything they do "Open source", so that developers can help make the experience for customers the best possible. nVidia does no such thing. They make you pay. nVidia, a stingy, greedy, disgusting company, that happens to make great, but overpriced products.
    Reply
  • alidan
    18457365 said:
    "Once again, AMD is one step behind nvidia and intel in both innovation and performance"

    Actually, it's been nVidia who has copied AMD here (AMD invented True Audio years ago. nV copied and added Audio Works, and AMD simply updated their True Audio into True Audio Next, with that said, it goes to show that you have no idea what you're talking about. Also, who owns the crown for price/performance? Yup AMD. Who holds DX12 performance? AMD Who holds compute performance, AMD. Who holds the entire console gaming industry? AMD. Who can make x86 CPU's to go along with their GPU's? AMD. Who owns 80+% of the VR industry? AMD. Who was the first and only GPU maker to have a card that uses HBM? AMD. Who has turned their company from a disaster into a success in recent times? AMD. Who is going to outgrow and outperform nVidia as a result of all of their innovations and success? AMD. Who will continue to dump money into dirty business tactics? nVidia.

    I liked nVidia for a long time (I still have an nVidia gpu in my PC), but the more I learn about them and the intricacies of the GPU industry, the more I'm starting to seriously dislike nVidia's business practices. AMD is all for the people, making just about everything they do "Open source", so that developers can help make the experience for customers the best possible. nVidia does no such thing. They make you pay. nVidia, a stingy, greedy, disgusting company, that happens to make great, but overpriced products.

    right now, amd is hurting on the pc market share wise, I believe it's up sense the 480 came out but it still a smaller piece of the pie, granted amd and nvidia are both tiny when compared to intel. Amd, while having a better track record then nvidia when it comes to not screwing their competition and own customers over, people argue that they aren't in a position to do that. Granted for me, nvidia screwed me over a few times, and continues to do so even when I don't have their gpus, so long as amd is a viable option, I'll buy from them.
    Reply
  • TripleHeinz
    Before the "company X invented this but company Y copied them before taking the idea from company Z" scalates even further...Spacial 3D audio computation has been present for many years now in the form of many APIs and SFX chip manufacturers were ready for that (as it makes more sense to process audio in an audio processor), it simply didn't took off as a consumer technology. This TrueAudio thing is another representation for achieving the same result while utilizing your GPU ("sounds" great to me).
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    I worked in consumer electronics audio (multi-channel audio processing in TVs, receivers, disc players, set-top boxes, etc.) for 6 years and this stuff is really exciting, but I worry about the market for it. Even though high-quality audio has been proven to enhance the experience in multiple studies, the tendency to cost-reduce always prevails and audio is always the what ends up getting sacrificed.
    Reply