Nvidia reveals a prototype 1700Hz display for lower-latency VR

Two significant hurdle that virtual reality displays have had to overcome are latency and persistence. If there’s too much delay between the movement of a user’s head and  a corresponding change on the head-mounted display, or too much image persistence between frames, the user will likely feel nauseous. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive already employ 90Hz, low-persistence displays to counteract this problem, but Nvidia thinks it can all but eliminate display latency by pushing the refresh rate even higher. At GTC 2016, Nvidia demoed a prototype display that runs at about 1700Hz.

To demonstrate this technology, RoadToVR says Nvidia attached a VR display to a rail system and shook it back and forth rapidly. The image on the display stays in the same position relative to the camera. The logo stays visible with only a small amount of blurring, despite the rapid movement. The presenter, Nvidia’s Vice President of Research David Luebke, says that Nvidia attains this high refresh rate by "overloading the display and driving it with this kind of novel binary delta-sigma encoder kind of approach." The company didn't indicate when this display tech might make its way out of the lab.

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    • dodozoid
    • 4 years ago

    This seems like somewhat different approach to solving problem alredy solved by variable refresh tech. This can perhaps cut another 1 or 2 ms of the latency against good 144 Hz ?sync screen.
    It might eventualy be the simpler solution with less overhead and compatibility issues when the tech gets mature enough.

    Edit to those who say that “GPUs need to catch up first”:
    No, they don`t. Think of this as of something that displays whatever you throw at it as soon as you throw at it.

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    VR Pac Man or bust……

    • zqw
    • 4 years ago

    This is a good fit for VR/AR headsets. The HoloLens HPU is already doing 240hz timewarp (Carmack term for image warp / rotation “upsampling” based on accelerometers), and even the lowly Oculus DK1 had 1000hz accelerometer readings. This timewarp is the secret to the amazing rock-solid head tracking in HoloLens, but the bus to the display apparently doesn’t have the bandwidth needed. So, it’s updating R-G-B-G, and you can occasionally see DLP projector style “rainbow” artifacts when you move your eyes quickly.

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 years ago

      Interesting. My camera (gx7) has a field sequential evf, and I can see tearing with fast motion, but obviously it’s running at a much lower refresh.

    • willmore
    • 4 years ago

    The 1700Hz might be a bit of a misnomer. A Delta Sigma D/A converter works by modulating a binary signal at many times the rate of the information it carries. In audio use ‘oversampling’ factors of 32 and 64 are common.

    It’s like saying that my phone must have great audio because the DAC in it clocks at over 3 MHz.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      Nyquist would approve.

        • willmore
        • 4 years ago

        Nyquist/Shannon in this case. 😉

      • hechacker1
      • 4 years ago

      It seems to me the advantage is not having to worry about vsync anymore if the display could just output any frame, instantly, that the GPU puts out.

      I could see this used in any display technology.

        • willmore
        • 4 years ago

        That’s not really what this tech does.

        • travbrad
        • 4 years ago

        It’s not quite “instant” but I think you are looking for G-Sync/Freesync. Nothing will actually be “instant” on a TN/IPS/VA display though.

    • thrawn
    • 4 years ago

    To the best of my understanding AMOLED panels in practical terms don’t have a limitation on refresh rate. The limitations are elsewhere like the GPU, the cable bandwidth, scaler chip in the display, etc. The refresh rate primarily matter for VR use and as far as I know no VR company has any interest in LCD based displays because of the inherent delay for the chemistry to update to match the signal sent.

      • meerkt
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah. I thought OLED solved pixel response times, versus LCD.
      The problem now is pixel fill/aperture ratio, and stuff like image retention or OLED longevity.

      Maybe there’s still hope for LCD if blue phase LCDs can be mass produced, though I much rather they spend their R&D on OLED. 🙂

    • rogojin
    • 4 years ago

    One needs such high refresh rates (although I’m not sure exactly how high) in order to make foveated rendering a reality. And foveated rendering really would be a game changer in terms of image quality.

      • meerkt
      • 4 years ago

      Why do you need high rates for that?

        • synthtel2
        • 4 years ago

        The eye can refocus on a different part of the scene a lot faster than you can move your head to look at something else. My sources aren’t top quality on this, so take it with a grain of salt, but AFAIK ~150 Hz would be ideal and 90 Hz is merely passable. The higher the refresh rate, the more you can restrict the high-detail rendering area, and the bigger the gains.

    • travbrad
    • 4 years ago

    Cool demo but I have to think there is some sort of middle ground between 90hz and 1700hz where the latency would be low enough that it’s not noticeable. I think bandwidth would be an issue as well (even with DisplayPort) unless you are playing Atari 2600 games in VR.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 4 years ago

      I suspect it could be of great use if they developed a sort of on-board version of Oculus’ async-timewarp, so the GPU rendered image is sent at 90hz/whatever, and is then reprojected using the latest positional information at 1700hz/whatever, using a relatively simple dedicated graphics device built into the headset. That could give near-total removal of rotational latency.

        • zqw
        • 4 years ago

        Exactly what HoloLens is doing in it’s “HPU” 60->240hz, details in my other comment.

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, 1700 is overkill.

      There’s also a lot more to it than just raw frame rate. How many times does the frame get buffered between the GPU and the user’s eye? How much latency does your motion tracking system have? How *stable* is your motion tracking system (low latency is worthless if it comes at the price of excessive jitter)?

    • xeridea
    • 4 years ago

    I don’t think the issue ever was monitor refresh rate limitation, it is the hardware driving the frames. If you had like 100Hz with ____Sync, I don’t see how this would be any better. You would still be limited to 100Hz, and your frames would update when they were finished, without waiting due to how Vsync works.

    Perhaps if you were to run 8 GPUs (DX12/Vulkan of course), at 1080/1440 you could exceed the 144Hz refresh of many modern monitors (don’t forget needing double the frames for VR), but as long as they are smooth, above probably 80Hz would go unnoticed, unless your name is Max Guevara.

      • travbrad
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah it doesn’t really make sense to me either. If a frame isn’t getting updated because the GPU is still rendering it then I don’t see how having a higher refresh rate is going to help much. It’s a bit like running 30FPS on a 144hz monitor. It still feels laggy.

      Above 80hz is noticeable though (at least to me) but there are diminishing returns the higher your refresh rate goes IMO. I have tested with my monitor and from 60hz to 85hz is more noticeable than 85hz to 100hz, which is more noticeable than 100hz to 120hz. From 120hz to 144hz I’m not even sure I can see the difference at all.

        • djayjp
        • 4 years ago

        PSVR is 120 😉

      • leor
      • 4 years ago

      Dark Angel reference!

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    Finally, a good use for that 8 Pascal server!

    • torquer
    • 4 years ago

    Console guys tell me anything over 30 fps is a waste, so why would I need this?

    /s

      • GrimDanfango
      • 4 years ago

      Indeed… this must be the *least* cinematic display ever created!

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