Mastermind Behind Nvidia RTX DLSS Just Got Hired By Intel

Nvidia’s RTX features have been among the primary selling points of its graphics cards in recent years. But now, the mastermind behind those advanced graphics features now works for one of Nvidia’s new rivals in the world of gaming graphics: Intel.

Nvidia RTX consists of two primary features: Real-time ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), both of which are critical for running the latest games with all the visual glitter turned on. DLSS is critical for running the latest games with ray tracing enabled. It’s the bedrock that has allowed ray tracing to flourish in video games, and it’s a big reason why Nvidia still holds an edge over AMD in the space. Now, Intel looks to be joining the fray.


Intel has now hired the person behind both technologies, Anton Kaplanyan, suggesting that Intel could be working on its own DLSS competitor for its upcoming graphics cards.

Anton Kaplanyan had a short but meaningful stint at Nvidia from 2015 to 2017, during which he helped design RTX ray-tracing hardware and DLSS.

“After the hardware was done, my Nvidia Research colleagues and I realized that the hardware performance would not suffice for real-time visuals, so we started developing a completely new direction of real-time image reconstruction methods,” Kaplanyan wrote in a blog post.

Intel could be working on a similar technology for its upcoming graphics cards — the blog post is careful not to mention DLSS by name, after all. Kaplanyan’s hire is, at least in part, based on his experience with graphics and machine learning. “New differentiating technologies in graphics and machine learning is the missing cherry on the cake,” Kaplanyan wrote.

Anton Kaplanyan headshot.

That would make sense for Intel. AMD has already fired back at Nvidia with its competing FidelityFX Super Resolution technology, and some recent job postings suggest Microsoft is working on a similar feature. With Intel’s DG2 graphics card on the horizon, the company looks like it’s ready to play ball with the latest graphics technologies.

Intel is forming an all-star roster of graphics experts. In 2017, the company picked up Raja Koduri, who’s known for working in AMD’s Radeon division on the Polaris, Vega, and Navi architectures. Koduri now heads up Intel’s graphics and software sector, leading the charge on the company’s first foray into desktop graphics cards.

Kaplanyan is likely a key part of that strategy, aiding in the development of ray tracing and the software it requires to run in real time. Before joining Intel, Kaplanyan worked as a researcher at Facebook for the company’s virtual reality (VR) endeavors. During that time, Kaplanyan published a paper on neural supersampling, which looks an awful lot like DLSS.

The future of Intel’s graphics department looks bright, assuming the pieces fall in place as they should. With ray tracing pushing graphics more than ever before, as well as the rise of high-resolution and high refresh rate monitors, a supersampling method is essential.

“I think we are at the edge of a new era in graphics — an era where visual computing will become more distributed, more heterogeneous, more power-efficient, more accessible, and more intelligent,” Kaplanyan wrote.

Editors’ Choice

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Xbox hired All-4-One to make a parody of I Swear

There’s a new song out in the world today by the 90’s R&B group All-4-One. This new single is a parody of a song released decades ago, appearing here via Xbox All Access Records, itself a parody of the actual Xbox All Access gaming system. The group, the actual All-4-One music group, came together to record a brand new music video for the song “It’s All There (I Swear Remix)” to promote Xbox All Access for gamers.

Per Microsoft, this song was “written for: Someone who’s ready to move on from their old gaming console.” It’s meant to promote the idea that a new Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X can handle both new games and a gamer’s favorites from past generations. To make this a reality, Microsoft suggests you pay for Xbox All Access for an Xbox Series X or Series S with 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Per Microsoft, Xbox All Access is “a new Xbox Series X or Series S. It’s 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. All-4-One monthly price.” That’s clever. The music video is at once both shameless in its promotion of the product and right on point with the tone and feeling of the original hit single and music video.

SEE TOO: Xbox All Access: What you need to know

As it was with the original group, All-4-One continues to roll with singers Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez, and Tony Borowiak. The crew has released 7 records since inception, starting with All-4-One in 1994, And the Music Speaks in 1995, a 1999 record called On and On, a 2002 record called A41, and three more after that. Split Personality was released in 2004, there was a 2009 record called No Regrets, and a 2015 record from All-4-One was called Twenty+.

Take a peek at the timeline below for more information on Xbox All Access and the ways in which it’s fast becoming the only way some users are able to access the hardware, though it’s meant to be mainly focused on the software subscription service that comes with it.

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Microsoft hired the co-creator of ‘Portal’ to build games for the cloud

Microsoft has hired Kim Swift, perhaps best known as a co-creator of Portal, to oversee Xbox Game Studios Publishing’s collaborations with independent studios on games built for the cloud. Swift is joining as senior director of cloud gaming after a stint at Stadia, where she was game design director. 

Swift was a producer of Narbacular Drop, which was released in 2005. Valve hired the team behind that game to make a spiritual successor: Portal. Swift was the project lead on the classic puzzle-platformer. She worked on the Left for Dead series before moving on to Airtight Games (Quantum Conundrum) and later Amazon and EA Motive. 

Google shut down its internal Stadia game studios in February. Many of the team members have moved on to other companies.

“Kim is going to build a team focused on new experiences in the cloud, something that’s going to support our mission of bringing our Xbox games to connect 3 billion gamers to play our games,” Xbox Game Studios Publishing head Peter Wyse told Polygon.

Microsoft wants to reach the vast number of gamers who don’t have, want or need consoles or gaming PCs. It’s building streaming sticks and smart TV apps so people can access Xbox cloud gaming through Game Pass without pricey dedicated hardware. So, it’s little surprise that Xbox is working on “cloud-native games,” as Wyse put it. However, he added that “we don’t know exactly what that looks like today, or what that even plays like,” so those games are likely quite some time away.

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Tech News

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