Well it was bound to happen sooner rather then later, but Nvidia spoke about AMD FreeSync. The interview is with Tom Petersen who spoke with the guys from techReport. So the credits and everything related to this post goes to them. Basically Petersen says he's excited to see a competitor take an interest in this but he claims that as things now stand, it will be close to impossible to implement free sync on a desktop display due to the use of different display architectures than on laptops.
Here's that snippet from the guys at techReport:
CES — On the show floor here at CES today, I spoke briefly with Nvidia's Tom Petersen, the executive instrumental in the development of G-Sync technology, about the AMD "free sync" demo we reported on yesterday. Alongside the demo, a senior AMD engineering executive asserted that a variable refresh rate capability like G-Sync ought to be possible essentially for free, without adding any extra costs to a display or a PC system. Peterson had several things to say in response to AMD's demo and claims.
He first said, of course, that he was excited to see his competitor taking an interest in dynamic refresh rates and thinking that the technology could offer benefits for gamers. In his view, AMD interest was validation of Nvidia's work in this area.
However, Petersen quickly pointed out an important detail about AMD's "free sync" demo: it was conducted on laptop systems. Laptops, he explained, have a different display architecture than desktops, with a more direct interface between the GPU and the LCD panel, generally based on standards like LVDS or eDP (embedded DisplayPort). Desktop monitors use other interfaces, like HDMI and DisplayPort, and typically have a scaler chip situated in the path between the GPU and the panel. As a result, a feature like variable refresh is nearly impossible to implement on a desktop monitor as things now stand.
That, Petersen explained, is why Nvidia decided to create its G-Sync module, which replaces the scaler ASIC with logic of Nvidia's own creation. To his knowledge, no scaler ASIC with variable refresh capability exists—and if it did, he said, "we would know." Nvidia's intent in building the G-Sync module was to enable this capability and thus to nudge the industry in the right direction.
When asked about a potential VESA standard to enable dynamic refresh rates, Petersen had something very interesting to say: he doesn't think it's necessary, because DisplayPort already supports "everything required" for dynamic refresh rates via the extension of the vblank interval. That's why, he noted, G-Sync works with existing cables without the need for any new standards. Nvidia sees no need and has no plans to approach VESA about a new standard for G-Sync-style functionality—because it already exists.
That said, Nvidia won't enable G-Sync for competing graphics chips because it has invested real time and effort in building a good solution and doesn't intend to "do the work for everyone." If the competition wants to have a similar feature in its products, Petersen said, "They have to do the work. They have to hire the guys to figure it out."
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