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Over the past year you have heard AMD talk a lot about Asynchronous Compute, and its significance has been clearly demonstrated in many DirectX® 12 and Vulkan® games, as well as VR. There were two specific features enabled by this capability that we elaborated on for AMD LiquidVR™1 Technology:

  • Asynchronous Time Warp (ATW) – helps to reduce latency and prevent image judder caused by dropped frames. Oculus’ ATW solution is designed to be automatic and transparent to users as well as to developers.
  • Quick Response Queue (QRQ) – tasks submitted into this special queue get preferential access to GPU resources while running asynchronously, so they can overlap with other workloads. More details can be found here.

ATW works by tracking the user’s head motion while each frame is being rendered, and re-projecting the last completed frame to the point of view of the user’s latest head position. This helps ensure that the headset always has an up-to-date frame to display, even if the system was unable to finish rendering a completely new frame in time. QRQ allows the re-projection operation to occur in parallel with graphics rendering, so it can be executed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

ATW is enabled automatically for Oculus Rift headsets and has been shown to be effective at reducing perceived latency and enabling comfortable VR experiences, however it still has some limitations. Specifically it cannot compensate for motion that occurs in the rendered scene itself, only that caused by head movements. Moving objects are just re-rendered at their last known location, which in some cases can noticeably degrade the quality of the experience.

Today we are announcing support for Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW), which was designed by Oculus to complement ATW and enhance its effectiveness. It works by comparing previously rendered frames to detect motion between them, and using that information to extrapolate the position of scene components in the next frame. This allows re-projected frames to more accurately approximate how they would look if they had been fully rendered.

The motion detection calculations required for ASW need a considerable amount of computational power, and they must be completed within a few milliseconds just before each frame is ready to display. The latest iteration of AMD LiquidVR provides access to powerful image processing hardware in VR-capable AMD Radeon GPUs that can generate the necessary motion vectors without burdening the main graphics engine.

Combined with the existing ATW and QRQ features, ASW can enable incredibly smooth and comfortable VR experience on AMD CPUs and select “Polaris” architecture based GPUs available at an attractive price point, making VR accessible to virtually everyone. This is the latest example of how AMD and our technology partners are developing technology that helps bring premium VR to the widest possible audience.

[4/7/2017 Update]

As part of our commitment to improving the user experience in VR, as of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.4.1, we’re pleased to announced support for Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) on Radeon R9 Fury series, Radeon R9 390 series and Radeon R9 290 series graphics products. Helpful for avoiding dropped frames – particularly important on less-capable graphics cards not able to consistently achieve the full frame rates required by HMD devices when rendering especially demanding VR content – this technology can provide an overall smoother VR experience on the Oculus Rift.

In addition, starting with Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.4.1, we now support SteamVR Asynchronous Reprojection on Radeon RX 480 and Radeon RX 470 graphics products on Microsoft Windows 10. Asynchronous Reprojection can reduce judder to provide an overall smoother and more comfortable VR experience on the HTC Vive.

Download the latest Radeon Software to discover the true power of Asynchronous Compute on Radeon graphics.

Sasa Marinkovic is Head of VR and Software Marketing for AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Sasa Marinkovic, Head of VR and Software Marketing for the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies, or opinions. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.


Got something to add? Leave a Reply.

  • mazi

    This is great news. Albeit the Oculus presentation was a bit different by suggesting it is a fixed 45 to 90 fps ASW processing.
    Now we wonder, with QRQ as part of the technology on AMDs side, is this for Polaris GPUs and later models only? Any benefits for Tahiti/Hawaii GPUs to expect?

  • mazi

    the video isn’t working anymore, it is set private. Sth. wrong with it or just a time embargo?

  • El Diablo

    Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake that nVidiot

  • El Diablo

    Is QRQ enabled and working on fiji and other GCN cards or is it only available to polaris

    same question goes for TRUEAUDIO next?

  • Drapetomania

    So you’re enabling it for 400 series but not 300 series? What, you think we’re gonna go out to buy a marginal upgrade to get that one feature? You’re sorely, SORELY mistaken. Good thing I didn’t buy that FreeSync monitor, because my next card will NOT be an AMD unless this is fixed.

    • Stella Lee

      We appreciate the feedback. We work tremendously hard to keep all Radeon users happy, and while we can’t confirm anything at the moment, please know that we’re looking into the feasibility of enabling ASW on other products.

      • Epoxian

        Thanks! I think a lot of people are all waiting for this! I just spent a little extra money to get a Fury instead of RX480 and after these news I wish I had just taken the 480. I’d also love to hear about updates, news and hurdles about this feature. I heard somewhere that it is hard to implement on older cards because of limited access to video encoding hardware. Is that right? Highlighting the technical side of this problem might help keeping the masses calm on the situation.

  • Disappointed owner

    If ASW is not supported on Hawaii/Grenada/Fiji, I’m switching over to the other camp for good. Good job alienating the VR community!

    • Stella Lee

      Hi there, we can’t confirm anything at the moment, however, please know that we’re looking into the feasibility of enabling ASW on other products. Thank you for the feedback.

  • Julian Moschüring

    It sounds like non-VR games would benefit from ASW too. Any plans?

  • AztecScribe

    Please clear up the rumours that this will not be available on the R9 family of cards. I have a R9 290 and an upgrade to an RX480 is not worth it for me but I really want to improve VR performance. I am extremely close to buying a GTX 1080 as currently for VR and future 4K support it is my only option today for the next 3 months in fact).

  • Mradr

    Same, because the Fury X was tunt as the next big hit – and with a such delay release – I would’ve hope it would be at least supported in the feature 400s as well.

    Seems like a punch in the face if we don’t hear anything by middle of Nov.

  • mazi

    Now it’s two weeks later and we saw two driver hotfix releases in the meantime. But somehow this ASW feature still doesn’t work with AMD Polaris on my VR System. When checking the Oculus developer documentation there is a requirement for Radeon version 16.40.2311
    Can you confirm which official released driver or hotfix is needed to run ASW on Oculus gear?

  • a R9 290 owner

    Wrong marketing strategy: “Download the latest Radeon Software to discover the true power of Asynchronous Compute on Radeon graphics”
    And after 10 days this statement still isn´t true. Whats wrong with you, amd?

    • Annie Lee

      Hi – thanks for your comment.

      Please note that support for Oculus’ Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) feature on select Radeon RX 400 series graphics products is enabled in Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 and later.

      Once officially released by Oculus, ASW will be enabled on the Oculus Rift. Please click here to learn more about ASW.

  • Manu

    What about PSVR? Is Sony going to be using ASW as well, since the PS4 is known to have great ASYNC support.

  • zaphod

    Well folks, it turns out AMD is the worst choice for a VR setup and I’m afraid they will never going to keep up with the competition whatever they do. As a regretful 390X owner being left out at the cold from those great vr technologies like ASW is just not acceptable at this point. We made big investment for VR, believing AMD’s promises but while Nvidia bringing all those crucial tech. for older gens, and look what we got.

    The silence from AMD is also a big let down. My trust is completely gone but at least I know what my next gpu is gonna be.

  • Vranq

    If it becomes normal that AMD provides new funktions only for the latest graphics products i will definately move to nVidia. Don’t tell us that older cards cannot handle ASW. And don’t think that you’ll sell more products. Read forums and you’ll notice that AMD will lose many VR users.

    I really hate nVidia for their attitude but if their support for older products is better than yours i won’t hesitate buy a Geforce.

  • mazi

    THIS story is from over a month ago. But still ASW isn’t working on RX480 cards yet. Oculus has not released a runtime for their VR Headsets yet that would work with Radeon GPUs for this feature. The developer information of Oculus about ASW isn’t helping end users really.
    Can AMD and Radeon Technology Group share any information when to expect an Oculus software support for AMDs driver implementation?

  • David Demski

    So what I’m reading here is that I should scrap my two Fury X’s and by a 480 instead? Does that sound right to you? For VR it seems the choice is clear and it isn’t with Team Red. I’m so sick of having people talk about great VR experiences and having them run like crap on my AMD cards. Even worse now, Steam’s implementation of (something like) ASW on the Vive doesn’t even support 400 series cards.

  • Rob Hulleman

    Still no ATW in sight for the 300 series? I just bought the damn thing especially for Oculus.
    Switches sides to NVidia at the end of the year when I receive my Oculus controllers… ;-(

  • Aron

    Any update on ASW for 200/300 series cards?

  • BjoernB

    Any news on ASW for R9 200 / 300 series cards. Its still not working/supported on the Crimson Relive 17.1.1 beta release. Will it ever come?

  • Marco

    any news? seriously? i am going nv***a so fast after this. (r9 390x owner)

  • Chris Steingen

    I am really disappointed with the lack of any support or statements regarding ASW on r9 390 series.
    For me there is no reason upgrading to a 480 from here, just to have a realistic 0% performance gain.
    The only upgrade route I consider taking is a GTX 1070.

    Radeon user since 15(!) years…


  • BjoernB

    Just tested R9 290 with latest Relive 17.2.1 and ASW still is not supported.

  • Cristian

    I only had AMD cards , the latest being R9 290. My next will definitely be 1070. Shame on you AMD!!!

  • JoeA.

    Patient R9 390 owner here…still waiting……….please AMD, please..

  • David

    There you go. You got your support. Very happy xfx r9 290x crossfire black edition owner.

  • Ernie Beffel

    Is ASW going to be available on the MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 460/455 under BootCamp?

  • Will

    Why isn’t there ASW support for slightly lower-end cards such as the R9 270. I have recently purchased a Rift, but I have an R9 270, and when I heard that there is only ASW support for the 290 and 390 series, I wasn’t particularly pleased.

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  1. Users will need to obtain a VR headset compatible with AMD’s GPU technologies and AMD LiquidVR™ technology. See for more information. GRT-6