It’s no secret that both Microsoft and Sony are working and researching on their next console hardware. In fact, there have been multiple reports and rumors about PS5 Pro being in development. PlayStation 6 is even reported to be launched in 2027 thanks to some Sony documents.
In light of all these revelations, Sony Interactive Entertainment has published a patent recently that describes techniques to apparently improve Cloud gaming through multi-gpu rendering. The patent as spotted by SegmentNext, reads:
To render even more complex scenes or use even more complex algorithms (e.g. materials, lighting, etc.) when generating a scene, it may be desirable to use multiple GPUs to render a single image. However, usage of these graphical processing units equally is difficult to achieve.
In recent years there has been a continual push for online services that allow for online or cloud gaming in a streaming format between a cloud gaming server and a client connected through a network. The streaming format has increasingly become more popular because of the availability of game titles on demand, the ability to execute more complex games, the ability to network between players for multi- player gaming, sharing of assets between players, sharing of instant experiences between players and/or spectators, allowing friends to watch a friend play a video game, having a friend join the on-going game play of a friend, and the like.
The cloud gaming server may be configured to provide resources to one or more clients and/or applications. That is, the cloud gaming server may be configured with resources capable of high throughput. For example, there are limits to the performance that an individual graphics processing unit (GPU) can attain. To render even more complex scenes or use even more complex algorithms (e.g. materials, lighting, etc.) when generating a scene, it may be desirable to use multiple GPUs to render a single image. However, usage of those graphics processing units equally difficult to achieve. Further, even though there are multiple GPUs to process an image for an application using traditional technologies, there is not the ability to support a corresponding
increase in both screen pixel count and density of geometry.
A notable element here is that the patent filing was headed by Mark Cerny himself who is the chief architect for PlayStation consoles. While the patent apparently seems to be only for servers meant to stream games for services like PS Now, it could also be used for home consoles as well. The reason behind this assumption is that a similar multi-gpu patent was also found back in 2020.
The patent states that while multiple GPUs can’t increase the number of pixels rendered, they can help in rendering the images faster. However, this is quite a complex technique and could require a lot of fine management of resources. It will be interesting to see if Sony decides to go along multi-gpu path for home consoles. For now, as is for all patents, nothing can be said for sure but Mark Cerny’s name in there do add a little weight to it.