The "radical reinvention of the traditional I / O subsystem"


from Thilo Bayer
Microsoft has released a new Xbox Series X video that details the Xbox Velocity Architecture. The Xbox Series X is said to be "the most powerful console ever" according to Microsoft. In addition to an extremely fast SoC based on Zen 2 and RDNA 2 as well as fast RAM, you also need the right memory subsystem. The Xbox Velocity Architecture consists of four main components: a bespoke NVME SSD hard drive, hardware accelerated decompression blocks, a brand new DirectStorage API layer and sampler feedback streaming (SFS).

Microsoft says about the Xbox Velocity Architecture.

Xbox Velocity Architecture: The next generation of game design

Modern games require a significant amount of data to create the ever more detailed worlds and universes that players are immersed in with all their senses. To ensure optimal processor performance, all of this data must be loaded from disk space into memory. The growing size of dynamic open world environments and lively, stable worlds with increased density and diversity has increased the amount of data required. Environment-related network data, highly polygonal character models, high-resolution textures, animation data, audio and video source files and much more only come together to create an immersive game world for the player.

Although modern game engines are able to stream game content from local hard drive storage to memory, level designers often still have to implement small spaces to circumvent the limitations of a traditional hard drive and I / O pipeline. These in-game elements are often used to obscure the need to clear the previous zone's assets from memory and at the same time load new assets for the next zone. This limitation would also severely slow the development of future, immersive games, which is why it significantly influenced the design and development of the Xbox Velocity Architecture.

The Xbox Velocity Architecture

The Xbox Velocity Architecture was designed as the best possible solution for streaming next-generation game content. This radical reinvention of the traditional I / O subsystem had a direct impact on all aspects of Xbox Series X design. If the bespoke processor is at the heart of Xbox Series X, Xbox Velocity Architecture is your soul. The Xbox Velocity Architecture enables next-generation gaming experiences through extensive integration of hardware and software innovations.

The Xbox Velocity Architecture consists of four main components: a bespoke NVME SSD hard drive, hardware accelerated decompression blocks, a brand new DirectStorage API layer and sampler feedback streaming (SFS).

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