Ubisoft’s New Rendering Technique Allows Them To ‘Fit A Lot More’ In The Xbox One’s ESRAM

A very neat technique, used to great effect by Ubisoft for Rainbow Six: Siege.

Posted By | On 06th, Apr. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

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One of the most criticized things about the Xbox One this generation, from a hardware perspective at any rate, has been the ESRAM- it has often been cited as a bottleneck for games development, and it is a decision that we have seen Microsoft attempt to first justify, and then circumvent.

Ubisoft, one of the biggest supporters of the Xbox One platform, too have been working up ways to not be limited by the ESRAM- and during a GDC panel (summarized by WCCFTech), they shared one such technique that they have used to some success. The technique in question was used for Rainbow Six: Siege, and the technique used by Ubisoft was the checkerboard rendering technique. This technique breaks the image down into smaller squares, which can lead to less aliasing, and better IQ in general, with less noise. It can also mean that there is enough processing grunt left to render the game at a steady 60FPS (something that Ubisoft was consciously trying to do with Siege), at relatively high resolutions than would be possible otherwise, to boot. Finally, it helps Ubisoft get around the ESRAM issue too, as this technique allows them to ‘store more in the ESRAM’ than would be otherwise possible.

It sounds like a technique with a lot going for it, and very little against it- it will be interesting to see if we see more Xbox One bound games adopt it going forward.

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  • hiawa23

    I am curious, why couldn’t MS just release all new X1s with say 64, 112, 256, of 512megs or ESram? That seems like would cure some ills.

    • theduckofdeath

      To increase the eSRAM to that extent would dramatically increase the size of the chip die. For reference, from the chip lithography you can see that the eSRAM is about the size of the GPU. More eSRAM means more silicon per chip, less chips per wafer, greater complexity and chance for flaws, more heat, and ultimately higher cost.

      IMO the uncertainty over GDDR5 supplies partlly lead the XB1 to its current state and position. The decision to ensure 8 GB of RAM with DDR3 necessitated some type of embedded RAM solution to make up ground (memory bandwidth). That would lead to a need to balance eSRAM density with GPU complexity, and voila, an “under powered” console at odds with itself.

      New console SKUs with more eSRAM would still be held back by the 20+millions XB1s without.

    • hiawa23

      Thanks for your informative response.

  • sgt_hammertime

    You mean tiled resources that Microsoft has been saying from the beginning?
    And also can you show evidence of where Microsoft has so-called circumvent the use of ESRAM? Or is this just you trying to make your article sound more interesting?

    • lagann

      well…its pramath we are talking about here. He loves to spread FUD on MS articles.

      If MS circumvents the use of ESRAM and only were to use DDR3….we would have horrible looking games with low resolution lol.


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