AMD AMD SmartAccess Storage marries Microsoft DirectStorage with Smart Access Memory

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Today at Computex 2022, AMD introduced its new Ryzen 7000 series processors, based on the Zen 4 architecture, alongside the accompanying Socket AM5 (LGA1718) platform and new chipsets. Alongside these two major announcements, AMD also debuted its new SmartAccess Storage technology, a new feature which the company has added to its Smart suite of technologies that include Smart Access Memory (SAM) and AMD SmartShift.

From the name itself it is quite obvious that the feature is related to some sort of storage boosting. Earlier, when it leaked for the first time, we speculated that it may be based on Microsoft's DirectStorage API. AMD today has confirmed our speculation and has also added that alongside DirectStorage, the company is also utilizing its own Smart Access Memory tech to offer GPU asset decompression that will immensely improve game load times and texture streaming efficiency.

Here's how AMD describes its new SmartAccess Storage technology:
AMD SmartAccess Storage

SmartAccess Storage gets you out of the load screen and into your gameplay


Traditional game loading takes a significant amount of compute power to decompress the game’s data, requiring the CPU to do the decompression and data transfer, which introduces latency and takes up considerable system resources

To help bypass these bottlenecks, AMD has created SmartAccess Storage, a suite of technologies supporting Microsoft DirectStorage that utilizes Smart Access Memory™8 with new AMD platform technologies along with Radeon GPU asset decompression to improve both game load times and texture streaming
 

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AMD says your current NVMe SSD may not be good enough for SmartAccess Storage​

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.
 

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