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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Powering Spatial Audio on GPUs Through Hardware, Software, and Tools (Presented by AMD)

Carl Wakeland  (Fellow, Silicon Design Engineer, AMD)

Lakulish Antani  (Senior VR Audio R&D, Valve)

Location: Room 3001, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, GDC Summits, Expo Plus, Audio Conference + Tutorial, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Audio

Format: Sponsored Session

Vault Recording: Not Recorded

Audience Level: All

Spatial and environmental audio can enhance immersion and plausibility, while introducing new game play mechanics in video games and VR. However, it requires additional compute resources, which could be a major challenge for many developers. In this talk, AMD presents how GPUs can be leveraged through technologies like AMD TrueAudio Next and Radeon Rays to push the capabilities of Valve's spatial audio tool, Steam Audio. Improved quality is achieved by handling a large number of sources, reducing latency, and improving the spatial audio resolution through higher order Ambisonics, while using only a fraction (20 to 25%) of the GPU. Specifically, AMD will discuss three challenges: (a) Accelerating audio convolution on GPUs, (b) Accelerating ray tracing based sound propagation on GPUs, and (c) Providing fallback options to developers, allowing their application to be deployed on hardware with a range of capabilities.


Attendees will learn how much they can push the limits of spatial audio tools for their VR and non-VR titles, design considerations when using Steam Audio with TrueAudio Next and Radeon Rays, and engineering techniques at hardware and software levels behind their spatial audio tools. Attendees will also learn about the capabilities needed by dedicated or embedded GPUs to accelerate spatial audio.