Skip to main content

Nvidia is bringing ray tracing and DLSS 3 to your car

Cyberpunk 2077 running in a Tesla.

I know it sounds crazy, but a new MediaTek chip powered by Nvidia graphics promises to bring AAA gaming, ray tracing, and the coveted DLSS 3 to your car. The chips I’m talking about are MediaTek’s new Dimensity Auto Cockpit, which integrated an Nvidia GPU, along with a host of AI and gaming capabilities.

It’s not clear what Nvidia graphics are packed on MediaTek’s chips, but clearly, they’re using some variation of the Ada Lovelace architecture we see on RTX 40-series GPUs. Those are the only GPUs that support DLSS 3’s frame generation capabilities, and they’re extremely efficient — important for a chip packed into a car.

The basis of MediaTek’s new chips is a 3nm node that’s designed around the Armv9-A CPU. This chip has “deep learning capabilities,” according to MediaTek, but it sounds like the Nvidia GPU is really packing the AI hardware.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

DLSS 3 is already an AI feature, but MediaTek boasts that the Nvidia graphics include a Deep Learning Accelerator (DLA), allowing you to run things like a Large Language Model (LLM) directly from the car. The chip also supports Nvidia’s full software platform, including CUDA, Drive OS, and TensorRT. MediaTek is building the chip, but it’s clear Nvidia has a big influence on it.

I won’t drop an insane amount of cash on a car that can play Cyberpunk 2077 with all the shinies. However, there are some applications here for other products.

Nvidia is showing that it can build what is essentially an RTX 40-series GPU on a small system-on-a-chip (SoC), fit with support for ray tracing and DLSS 3. That holds a lot of promise for handheld gaming devices, where Nvidia has been somewhat of a sleeping giant for the past few years.

Rumor has it that the next version of the Nintendo Switch will support DLSS and ray tracing with an Nvidia GPU. On top of that, Nvidia is reportedly worried about “missing the boat” on handheld gaming PCs, such as the Steam Deck. Up to this point, we’ve only seen AMD chips in handheld gaming PCs.

These automotive chips aren’t going to show up in a gaming device, but at the very least, they show that Nvidia can pack a modern GPU into what is essentially a mobile SoC. I’m not too excited about ray tracing and DLSS in my car — but on a Steam Deck, I’ll take it.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
Meet Blackwell, Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architecture
Nvidia introducing its Blackwell GPU architecture at GTC 2024.

We finally have our first taste of Nvidia's next generation of GPUs, named Blackwell. Sure, they're built for enterprises, and no, they won't run Cyberpunk 2077 (at least not officially). But this is the first look we've have at what Nvidia is cooking up for its RTX 50-series GPUs, which are rumored to launched sometime in the next year.

The GPU we have today is the B200 -- Blackwell 200, if you can spot it -- that comes packed with 208 billion transistors. The architecture is built on TSMC's 4NP node, which is an enhanced version of the 5nm node. It's a little surprising given that Nvidia's Ada Lovelace GPUs are built with TSMC's 4N node -- one refinement step away from 4NP. Nvidia notes that it's using a custom version of this process, however.

Read more
My most anticipated game of 2024 is getting the full Nvidia treatment
A character gearing up for battle in Black Myth: Wukong.

As if I wasn't already looking forward to Black Myth: Wukong enough, Nvidia just announced that the game is getting the full RTX treatment when it launches on August 20. We see new games with ray tracing and Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) all the time, but Black Myth: Wukong is joining a very small list of titles that currently leverage the full suite of features Nvidia has available.

The game comes with, as Nvidia describes it, "full ray tracing." That undersells the tech a bit. As we've seen with games like Alan Wake 2, "full ray tracing" means path tracing. This is a more demanding version of ray tracing where everything uses the costly lighting technique. It's taxing, but in the new games that we've seen with path tracing, such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Portal with RTX, it looks stunning.

Read more
AMD finally has a strategy to beat Nvidia’s DLSS
Frank Azor presenting at AMD's RDNA 3 launch event.

AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution 3 (FSR 3) has had an uphill climb so far, but things might get better in 2024. According to a statement from the company's chief technology officer, this year will be a big one for AMD in terms of AI -- and this doesn't just mean large-scale AI, but also upscaling. Are we going to see some major changes in AMD's next-gen RDNA 4 graphics cards?

The tantalizing bit of information comes from Mark Papermaster, AMD CTO, who was a guest on the No Priors Podcast. At the very end of the interview, Papermaster gave a few hints as to what's on AMD's agenda for 2024. It's all about AI, and no surprise -- Nvidia has adopted the same approach.

Read more