AMD explains how SmartAccess Storage takes DirectStorage to the next level

AMD SmartAccess Storage demo

At the recently held Computex 2022 event, AMD introduced its SmartAccess Storage (SAS) technology. The company said that it was marrying its already available Smart Access Memory (SAM) tech with Microsoft's DirectStorage to offload the asset decompression work directly to GPUs instead of using CPUs. All this should enable huge perceptible improvements to game loading times, among other things, compared to traditional Win32 storage APIs.

Details on how AMD was merging the two technologies weren't provided during the Computex keynote. However, in a recent interview with the PCWorld, AMD's Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions and Marketing, Frank Azor, went into more details about how AMD's Smart Access Memory comes into play alongside DirectStorage to give birth to SmartAccess Storage.

According to Azor, Smart Access Storage, which is basically a fancy name for PCIe Resizable Bar (ReBar), makes the entire VRAM buffer of the graphics card available for DirectStorage and asset decompression, whereas without Smart Access Storage, only 256MB of VRAM is addressable and transferable at a time. This should, in theory, make SmartAccess Storage much faster than DirectStorage. It also implies that SmartAccess Storage will not be supported on all Radeon GPUs.

While AMD released just released SmartAccess Storage, its Green team rival Nvidia has had RTX IO for a while, which it debuted back in 2020 alongside the RTX 3000 launch. However, it is not confirmed at the moment whether RTX IO makes use of PCIe Resizable BAR or not.

Source: PCWorld

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