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.
In a recent interview with the PCWorld, AMD's Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions and Marketing, Frank Azor explained why the company was adding its SAM technology into the mix and how it will complement DirectStorage. When inquired about the minimum spec requirement for SAS, Azor revealed that not all NVMe (PCIe) drives will be certified for the tech and that qualified drives will have to meet certain performance requirements set by AMD, even if they are the latest PCIe 5.0 SSDs.
Here is Frank Azor's full statement:
So we have an authorized vendor list of parts that we are developing right now with NVMe drives and controllers that are meeting our performance requirements around SmartAccess Storage. Just because you have a PCIe Gen4 or the upcoming Gen5 drives ... it doesn't mean that those drives are going to be able to keep up with the performance demands and capabilities of SmartAccess Storage.
The base technology for SAS, ie, DirectStorage doesn't have such requirements. According to Microsoft, any NVMe drive (PCIe Gen3 or newer) and a DirectX12-ready Shader model 6.0 GPU are all you need.