Nvidia and other GPU Designers are already working on 8K resolution
by Stephan Jukic – October 23, 2014
4K Ultra HD resolution may still be in the refinement stage of its steady march towards PC display technology dominance but that hasn’t stopped some chip manufacturers from already moving towards development of 8K display.
This in itself is a pretty remarkable leap considering that even 4K, with its 3840/4096 x 2160 pixels of display resolution is still a difficult sell to consumers and a difficult technology to manage in terms of graphics card processing in PCs. Whatever difficulties 4K faces, 8K Ultra HD will face the same problems at a much greater scale.
For starters, 8k means at least 7680 x 4320 pixels of display resolution. This is 16 times the total pixel count of Full HD and several times the number of pixels found in 4k screens.TV screens capable of displaying 8K resolution aren’t expected to hit the commercial market for at least a few more years, and this is not to mention the associated technologies that will need to develop better for 8K to effectively render in video form. As for content, it is completely non-existent in any commercial sense.
Nonetheless, the designers of graphics processing chips are already thinking about 8K and how they can develop their way towards it.
The reason for this is one of stable perfection, according to researchers. What this means is that, if display resolution of 8k pixels horizontally and 6K pixels vertically is achieved, it will be virtually perfect as far as the visual capacity of the human eye is capable of noticing, at least according to gaming scientists at chip maker AMD.
Given this visual perfection point, 8K is expected to be something very stable that will last a long time without significant changes in two dimensional TV/PC displays.
This is a major attraction to gaming chip makers like Nvidia and others and it’s also what has heavily captured their attention.
However, enormous obstacles still remain before 8K gaming or video come anywhere close to commercial reality.
To begin with, there are hardly any single-chip graphics cards on sale today that can even process 4k Ultra HD resolution at frame rates of 60 fps or more. Most PC users who want to enjoy even 4K gaming or video viewing on PCs still have to go for multiple GPU setups and many of the same problems also plague 4K TVs. With 8K display, these problems will be compounded 6-fold or more.
The bottom line is that, while a 4k Ultra HD monitor/TV is essentially displaying a series of 8 megapixel images in rapid successive motion, its 8K counterpart would have to process the needs of successive 33 to 48 megapixel images. This means a need for truly immense graphics processing power.
Currently the performance of GPUs is indeed increasing at a high rate of speed and some new models that have been released by gaming chip leader Nvidia are indeed designed to effectively run 4K Ultra HD resolutions on even gaming PCs.
However, this still doesn’t guarantee that sufficient breakthroughs in 8K processing will be ready in time.
The first 8K displays and TVs are expected within 4 to 5 years and at current GPU development trends, they will simply require multiple graphics cards running together in order to function.
According to Scott Herkelman, Nvidia’s head of development for the company’s powerful GeForce GTX GPU, “anything above 4K is going to require multiple GPUs.” And developing GPUs powerful enough to handle 8K game rendering efficiently will be tricky because it will require the development of new kinds of memory, cooling systems and even new chip designs.
Story by 4k.com