Integer scaling will be supported by Intel Gen11 and next-gen Xe graphics, a feature which has been requested by enthusiasts for quite a while now. Intel’s Lisa Pierce confirmed that the patch for Gen11 chips will release in August, with future Intel Xe graphics to follow along in 2020.
Integer scaling is a technique which takes each pixel and times it by four. The resulting values are identical to their original values, but the user retains clarity and sharpness in the image all along the way. Current upscaling techniques append color values for pixels, which leaves lines and text blurry in games. Nearest neighbor interpolation carries out a similar task, but is a bit more precise, leaving games with the same loss in image quality.
These current upscaling techniques create a blur which is especially noticeable in pixel art games. With 4K screens becoming more common, the RTX 2080 Ti staggers along by fitting all 8,294,400 pixels at once. This is far from ideal and reformation is overdue. Integer scaling allows you to drop the resolution, take a load off your GPU, all while keeping the visual quality the same.
Intel is certainly engaging its community, via Reddit and feedback, with its graphics card development. Here’s what marketing lead, Chris Hook had to say:
“So every time this stuff comes up, these get widely circulated. So they go to all the engineering leaders. We go on a little bit of a tour on them and we share them. The engineers love this stuff. They’re really really interested. They often delve into them, try to anticipate what we’re going to come in and talk about, what they think the community’s interested in. So these drive a lot of discussions”
Gen9 graphics cards won’t be supporting integer scaling, as most of the hardware in desktops and mobile chips before Ice Lake don’t support nearest-neighbor algorithms. This functionality will be available in the latest 10nm processors and Intel Xe, which arrives next year.
This new upscaling technique will be available via the Intel Graphics command center at the end of August.