Sony Explains How Checkerboard Rendering Works On The PS4 Pro

The PS4 Pro is definitely not powerful enough to support native 4K rendering for most games- instead, Sony uses a custom upscaling solution which is referred to as Checkerboarding. Checkerboarding can be a demanding technique, but if utilized right, with access to the triangle and object data in the ID buffer, the results can be visually resplendent.

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corroios2414d ago

We all would like that the Pro got something like a TITAN X (11 Teraflops), but the reality is that 399 this november is something that all gamers can get,

Checkerboard seems a nice technique.

2414d ago Replies(14)
Zarock2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

What about the rich gamers who can afford a PS4 with a Titan X In It?? Why they don't get love!!

DarkHeroZX2413d ago

If you can afford a titan X then just build a PC. I have a PC with Titan X Pascal in SLI. Will also get a Pro when a special edition drops.

Zarock2413d ago

No Exclusives on PC + more problems and unoptimised ports.

Agheil2413d ago

It's plain why. Market size.

_-EDMIX-_2412d ago

Because that's an extremely small Market all you have to do is go and steam statistics to see just how small that demographic is in fact all you have to do is check AMD and Nvidia sales on their top-end gpus.

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showtimefolks2413d ago


there's better support of variables such as half-floats. To date, with the AMD architectures, a half-float would take the same internal space as a full 32-bit float. There hasn't been much advantage to using them. With Polaris though, it's possible to place two half-floats side by side in a register, which means if you're willing to mark which variables in a shader program are fine with 16-bits of storage, you can use twice as many. Annotate your shader program, say which variables are 16-bit, then you'll use fewer vector registers

One of the features appearing for the first time is the handling of 16-bit variables - it's possible to perform two 16-bit operations at a time instead of one 32-bit operation," he says, confirming what we learned during our visit to VooFoo Studios to check out Mantis Burn Racing. "In other words, at full floats, we have 4.2 teraflops. With half-floats, it's now double that, which is to say, 8.4 teraflops in 16-bit computation. This has the potential to radically increase performance."

8.4 teraflops

ps4's performance could measure up to 8.4TF

very interesting read

i don't think people realize just how smart cerny really is and by adding 1GB of slow DDR3 ram they have given developers exactly what they want(more than 10% extra ram that developers were asking for)

zivtheawesome2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

the 8.4 teraflops part is super interesting. Developers must utilise this power and i definitely see developers like R* and naughty dog being able to make with this beautiful stuff.

EDIT: also just remembered something, if i am not mistaken a few weeks before the official announcement of the pro, a developer was asked if the 4.2 teraflops is true and he hinted at a more powerful console than expected, maybe this is why.

fr0sty2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

This is likely part of what developers were hinting at when people started trying to compare Microsoft's 6TF vs. PS4Pro's 4.2, and they were saying "it's all about the architecture". That said, for all we know Scorpio could incorporate this tech as well (or it could be a thing Sony paid extra to have exclusive, who knows). We'll have to wait and see when the real scorpio scpecs drop. Hopefully Microsoft will be as open about the specs as Cerny has been with Pro.

rlow12413d ago

That's sounds like a lot of marketing hype to me. They know the reveal went bad for them and are now trying to put a spin on it. Just like when MS launched Xbox1 and the unlocking of a extra core was somehow going to bridge the gap between it and the PS4. If it's so powerful then why no 4k video? He didn't seem to interested in addressing that. Does he guarantee 8.4 tf ? No, because it's a nice theoretical number but the chances of it ever hitting that are remote. This checkerboard reminds me of tiles from when the Xbox1 launched.

joeorc2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

[No, because it's a nice theoretical number but the chances of it ever hitting that are remote. This checkerboard reminds me of tiles from when the Xbox1 launched.]

No it's not , Mark went over how this was done, the PS4's GPU was duplicated in mirror image on the Die like a wing of a butterfly.

Half floats are 16 if you do a 32FP it's 4.2

If you half the bit to 16FP your going to be able to accomplish 8.4 TF with instead of one single 32FP you now instead go with two 4.2 TF @ 16FP

That's like taking the new Nintendo's Switch SOC's GPU which is doing 1TF @ 16FP..

Instead Sony's tweaks to the PS4 Pro's GPU is not just another marketing speak or like tiled rendering.. This is about how the systems hardware was designed.

This worked the way it did

Only reason being able to do this is because the tweaks of the mirroring of the PS4's GPU..

It's very simple how it works.

And Ps4's can already do 4K video streaming and the HDMi chip on every PS4 already supports 4k video & pictures..thus the HDR update to the PS4 HDMi chip is getting ready the update for the 4K video.

It's mainly was about video games 1st video 2nd. For their updates. Sony has been quite clear on that.

zivtheawesome2413d ago

actually i checked over the intenet about that fact not long ago and to my surprise the answer is no, almost everything can utilise the 16bit float instead of 32bit, so in the end reaching 8.4 teraflops aint so far from the truth (we may not see the effect on release or in the whole year but perhaps in 2018 developers will utilise this method to be more powerful than the scoprio.

ShowanW2413d ago

Mark Cerny is a very smart man by all means.. probably 5x smarter than I am.. but..

He is feeding people theoreticals.. and yall are eating it right put the palm lfnhis hand..

Although he is correct in what he says... this will not give u 8.4 TF of raw power...

2x-16bit TF side by side is good but its still only a 1/2 of the raw 32bit TF sitting sude by side.

The 16bit side by sides are filler so that frame rates hold up and "hopefully" 'no loss in pixel quality which can hopefully reduce jaggies as well...

Babadook72413d ago

Yah, that 8.4 TFlops caught my eye. But just a cool was the ID Buffer, which could be a huge advancement for GPU's. Cerny is a smart dude.

Ju2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

In all honesty, and that is from someone who pre-ordered a Pro and can't wait to get feels a little bit half baked...

First, Sony is overly concerned with backwards compatibility. That is, this thing is 100% backwards compatible. Which sound nice and probably appreciated. But it also means, no (zero, nilch, nada) benefits for existing PS4 titles - well, this could change because, it would be possible to enable Pro mode for "whitelisted" games down the road. But, they acutally designed a HW switch which switches the Pro into standard PS4 mode neglecting the advanced features - incl. increased clock frequency

And second, they could have added 2GB DDR3 and load code exclusively into that segment. No need to swap leaving the GDDR for data and shader code only. This is easily possible with proper seg loaders. Freeing up much more memory for games with a very clean approach (well, with the limits, that you might have fast and slow code if you run out of DDR and you really need more memory for code). Or fencing the 2.5GB OS memory (minus the OS frame buffer) off statically and allow Apps to use DDR only. No swapping what so ever. I think that 1GB is just to conservative.

Sony is a great HW company - and adding all these HW tricks are great - but at some point SW people don't want fancy tricks. They want a clean straight forward approach. Something the PS4 was. This is a hack to squeeze more power out of the existing architecture while not really cleanly evolve on the previous design...

They don't trust the SW guys that they would be able to write code which would scale when better HW is available. A bit of a shame in the 21st century, tbh.

BTW: Those 8TF are meaningless. It will never achieve that. 16bit precision is simply not enough for most things (while it could accelerate some).

The checker board is interesting and far beyond a blunt per pixel scaler. This has 3D and temporal data to extrapolate which almost redefine why/if a pixel must be defined by a flat rectangular pixel grid, making this 3D or even 4D (temporal).

Aenea2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

Don't stare too much at that 8.4TF number tho, all games need to use 32-bit floats, not everything in one game needs them, but not everything can be done with 16-bit floats...

Also, that technique is an AMD one which probably will be included in the Scorpio's GPU as well...


Yeah, theoretically, yes. But no game can do everything with 16-bit floats. Also, it's of course not entirely certain what GPU and GPU features MS will include in the Scorpio. If they base the GPU module on the Vega it will have it, if not they must have decided to add in explicitly (like Sony did) which they might not have done. We will have to wait...

fromchildren2413d ago

So the scorpio could measure uo to 12Tera Flops with same or similar architecture.

2412d ago
gamertk4212412d ago

Here comes MisterPmedia and the Pro's secret sauce!

sammarshall1022412d ago (Edited 2412d ago )

Then the Scorpio can be 12 Tflops so to speak


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miyamoto2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

Can PS4Pro render 1080p Bluray video in Checkerboart Technique?

Because if that is so then XboneS and Scorpio is in trouble.

And that will be the reason why they leftout the expensive 4K Bluray Drive.

That is innovation right there.

I heard checkerboard tech on 1080p TV works wonders compared to conventional 1080p rendering.


If Iknew the answer I would not have asked that question.

Too technical, eh?
Even a nine year old understand what I am saying.

zivtheawesome2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

i don't think what you said makes sense. i am pretty sure that it is patched by the developers so i don't think 1080p bluray video can be checkerboarded to 4k.

wait really? if so then that's awesome! sony: making hdr without hdr compatible HDMI and making 4k bluray without 4k bluray that is pretty awesome XD

ShowanW2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )


please dont try to sound too technical...
U make absolutely no sense half the time...

"Can you checkerboard 1080p Bluray"....

Bluray is just a conduit in which to deliver media... (rather it be game or movie)

Edit: Your original post came out very "fan boyish " and u since edited it

Ju2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

Checkernboard - if that is what it is - is rendering an "ID" buffer which will only work in a 3D pipeline. It writes an additional buffer from data extracted from the geometry pipeline.

A flat video stream (incl. BD movie) does not contain a geometry pipeline (no 3D data). So no, Checkerboard will not help you scaling movies.

Aenea2413d ago

What you're saying is indeed not making sense.

How can I explain it.... Ehmm, checkerboard rendering is used by games that don't manage to do all the stuff they want to do graphically fast enough to support a high resolution. A game is doing lots of stuff to show you every frame.

While displaying a movie, bluray or stream, the console isn't doing all that much and has all the time in the world to create native 4k frames from the data of the bluray/stream.

So no, checkerboard rendering has no uses at all when displaying video from bluray/stream.


No, checkerboard rendering is a videogame technique and really, really can't be used for anything else...

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THC CELL2412d ago

All this now and on Scorpio ya won't see a mega difference for about 2 years into Scorpio life by then ps5 will be out and all this about uhd blue ray I have a android box to stream 4k and also YouTube. There a storm coming a huge decline in buying physical movies

ShowanW2412d ago


Take the blinders off for a sllit sec and try to make some logical cal sense for a minute

Project Scorpio will have games in native 4K/60 at launch. Microsoft already has games with 4K/60 assets. 2yrs will not be needed.

Also if Sony drops a PS5 in 2yrs it wont matter. PS4PRO games look pretty good now, Microsoft is "claiming" that Project Scorpio games will look that much better when it launches. If most of Project Scorpio games are indeed native 4K, PS5 wont have any negative effect on Xbox

bleedsoe9mm2412d ago

pr message seems to be working well

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2412d ago
zivtheawesome2413d ago

anyone can explain what they said about ID's and their technique... it sounds so interesting but i can't understand how it works...

DigitalRaptor2413d ago (Edited 2412d ago )

I knew Scorpio zealots were foolish for clinging onto a single digit teraflop figure as if it told the whole story.

Their very, very secret sauce for XB1 has always been a bunch of highly embarrassing and delusional crap that we've had to fend away for years. Meanwhile, traces of secret sauce spill from Sony HQ and it's actually the real deal from the master-level engineer who architected the original PS4.

Now PS4 Pro is confirmed to be capable of 8.4TF of GPU compute due to the genius of Mark Cerny and his smartly re-engineered GPU. Additional 1GB of RAM. Then we also have another one of his innovations in Checkerboard rendering which makes the difference between it and native 4K practically indistinguishable. But that's not even the real story.... Pro comes out 12 months in advance and will be the console to "wow" people with 4K so much so that Scorpio's arrival will be late and far less impactful, especially when you know it's not going to be everything they're promising.

Pro is a more than worthy upgrade for gaming unlike what certain people have been trying to paint since its official reveal event - and it comes at such a reasonable cost, it almost crazy it's the price they're going for.

@ replies - my god you people missed a trick.

@ Septic - The "secret sauce" - shame that this one actual exists in this reality, and is not just an embarrassing fanboy creation from thin air. Get a grip and read up, Septic.

@ ShowanW - Cerny's innovative algorithm for checkerboard rendering high-resolutions to 4K, and making it look practically indistinguishable from native 4K, is patented. I never said he invented checkerboard, and I'm sick of the Xboys putting words in my mouth. Of course it's not native 4.2TF - they know they have to work within the confines of what resources they've chosen - it's crazy innovative trickery to achieve the same or similar results. Of course, there's no way of you knowing anything else that you claim, but please tell me more.

zivtheawesome2413d ago

hmm do you understand what they explained of the checkerboard method in the article? i am really interested in cool techniques (i am the type of guy who always loves to search for a shortcut an believes that you can shortcut through everything) but i can't understand the explanation given in the article.

Gazondaily2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

What's this got to do with the Scorpio?

Insecure brah?

ShowanW2413d ago


I mean no disrespect... but

You wrote all of this, which makes no sense..

And you sound like a complete idiot..

Checkerboard remdering has been around long before Sony did it..

Heck even Quantum Break on Xbox One used checkerboard rendering...

Also its not a raw 8.4TF (not all bits are going to be full 32bits on certain games). Theres going to be 2x 16bit side by sides (probably for less static items on the screen or in action heavy scenes in games...

To for a basic breakdown: Its the Quantum Break visual trick on a bigger scale...

Your just sucking it up cause Cerny is smart enough to lul you in with BIG words you cant grasp... at the end of the day the PS4PRO is goin to be good.. but its still only 4.2TF and a Jaguar cpu that can possibly chokehold future titles

Gazondaily2413d ago

8.4 magic super secret sauce t flops! Haha this is brilliant

2413d ago
kraenk122413d ago (Edited 2412d ago )



Oh Rookie never give up right?!

MetalGearsofWar2413d ago

Sounds to me like you're going for PS4 Pro lol.

Artemidorus2412d ago

Deluded Millennial at it's finest.

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miyamoto2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

They fixed the aliasing problem
Cqheckerboard tech a real game changer.

Ju2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

Well, I don't. But from a more abstract perspective, imaging what you finally see on the screen is a flat 2D 1:1 pixel. So, technically, for each pixel in that grid, some math is used to "calculate" this resulting pixel.

Now, in a very simplistic view, this is simple done on a per pixel data and the process to get there is called "projection" (3D data to 2D transformation) and "rasterizing", that is, adding some color to that pixel.

This is how any standard 3D pipeline works. Now, lately we have heard about deferred rendered and such. The "projection" uses 3D coordinates, x, y and z coordinates. Those are simply transformed into 2D space, which is a simple x,y coordinate system. So far so good.

But (!), now we add some z data - e.g. overlapping areas are drawn from back to front. This invention which is very old, is called the Z buffer, and when we actually render that 2D pixel, a Z value is stored letting the "rasterizer" know, which pixel to draw first (basically it can sort pixels in Z direction - this almost costs nothing because the sorting is done when writing into the buffer).

Even more so, we can add motion data, lighting data, all kinds of information - in that 2D pixel in the rasterizer stage. Note! There is no more 3D data available at that point, just various buffers which are far beyond a simple 2D grid.

The (new) ID buffer gives that pixel an idea where it actually came from. And with it one can actually look up geometry which is a great help to detect edges. Edge detection is used to smooth those with advanced anti aliasing. And voila, all of a sudden, the rasterizer has a chance to get an idea of the shape which created this pixel.

This combined with motion data (temporal data) allows the rasterizer to actually predict "gaps" between pixels. So, well, all in all, while the color data (the flat 2D frame buffer) is has only 4MPixel (at 2K), the additional information make this much more information than "just" flat pixels. And it is less data stored than a full res 4K image (at 8MPixels) - but the result can be equivalent. What that means is, you get close to 4K with the clock frequency and bandwith limits the PS4Pro has compared to what would be required to render a plain native 8M pixel plane. Simple as that. :)

All other current SW or HW scalers only use the input data from the 2D buffer of the raw 4MPixel data (well, or less if you consider we render far below 1080p in those cases).

2413d ago Replies(2)
fathertime44642413d ago

Checkerboard isn't new and upscaling is upscaling no matter how you spin it.
On that note more power does equal better graphics, and hopefully longer and better game experiences.
Still not getting it. I'm feeling the switch more (if third party support is there that is)

miyamoto2413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

Or more brains on PlayStation's side beats Microsoft's more bucks?
You mean the Nintendo Snitch?

vega2752413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )

"Or more brains on PlayStation's side beats Microsoft's more bucks"

Yeah and some how MS got B/C to work while sony doesnt have a clue how to do it for the ps4 or they are smart enough to know their fanbase isnt and will rent and re-purchase games they already own again.

Sony you cheeky fellows you lol

nitus102413d ago (Edited 2413d ago )


For those who already have XBox360 games, backward compatibility is great and a value-added feature. There is only one problem with this and that is you have to have an XBox360 game that you want to play on your XB1.

For people who have an XB1 and wish to play an XBox360 game for nostalgia purposes, they really do have to have that game or go out and purchase it (admittedly it would be relatively cheap). The majority of XB1 owners probably would not bother preferring XB1 games over XBox360 games.

Backwards compatibility at the start of a new console generation is a value added feature that does help sell the console initially since there would only be a few native games for it. Over time backwards compatibility becomes less important and except for a few people who do like playing the odd previous generation games for nostalgia purposes.

Bringing out backwards compatibility for XBox360 games two years into the console generation did not really give Microsoft's XB1 the edge over the PS4 and sales of the two consoles actually prove this.

BTW. I think Sony makes more money off people buying remastered games than people using their old XBox360 games so why would they remove this source of revenue by bringing out a PS3 emulator for the PS4? You can call this strategy any names you want but at the end of the day both Sony and Microsoft are business and are responsible to their shareholders.

2413d ago
rainslacker2413d ago

Funny enough, upscaling is upscaling, and checkerboard isn't new, but when learning about, reading about, implementing it myself, or hearing it referred to, I've never heard checkerboarding actually being considered upscaling on the technical level among those who understand how to actually implement it. It's just a rendering technique. One of many. And most of those rendering techniques have been around for a decade at least.

Red_Renegade2412d ago

but do any of them render that frozen concoction that helps me hang on?

masterfox2413d ago

Once again Playstation has this gaming industry on its shoulders and so it can still thrive, this is good and bad, good cause Sony is always trying to go forward and give gamers the best gaming experiences utilizing todays technology in a affordable ways and bad because theres no competition around them from the other "console makers" Nintendo and Microsoft, competition is always good cause every company wants to get the best products to their consumers showing their strenghts of what other companys don't have, but right now theres none!. Nintendo SW is the perfect example how they are so out of touch of todays technology, I mean seriously attach controllers to a tablet ?, how many freaking addons have been in the market for tablets all this years that do exactly that ? hundreds!! if you didn't know, oh but wait!! you can play Zelda on the go! hmmm how many freaking Zelda games have been released for the damn 3ds or Marios ? dozens too!!, also good luck not to lost a damn part to that thing I mean seriously there 5 parts that at least 4 you need to keep track of, seriously with all honesty as tech guy fan I see the Nintendo NX plain pathetic!, not to mention the underpowered spect that damn thing will have.

And now MS Scorpio......hmmm MS telling us about a 6 TF console, hmmm no game showing, no hardware showing, no specs just the 6 TF thing, oh above that add all the PR nonsense they spill: "xbone and scorpio games will have the same experiences with some differences".....I'm like what?? typical MS gaming division PR talk equals pure nonsense.

So as you can see Sony doesn't have competition but still they keep going moving forward with solid steps just look and see the PSVR, and later the PRO, the PRO is created cause not because competition against PC is because AMD but thats another story, MS and Nintendo can be portray with this gif I think:

I hope Nintendo and MS gaming division someday find their way to common sense.

Gazondaily2413d ago

LMao at this post 😂😂😂

The_Sage2413d ago

I think it's funny that you said, LAUGHING MY ass off.😁

miyamoto2413d ago

So then there is no bad in PlayStation Domination.

ShowanW2413d ago


this post wreaks of fanboy and pathetic...

nintendo sells a TON of zelda and mario titles on 3ds and also 'attachments for other tablets don't got the budget that ninty has for their hardware... rather you like nintendo games or not, their hardware is TOP NOTCH and works as advertised.

MS doesnt have to show us anything Scorpio related because we said so...
they show it when they are good and ready...

you let mark cerny gas your head up...

get off the kool-aid asap it's rotting your teeth and your brain...

masterfox2413d ago

"get off the kool-aid asap it's rotting your teeth and your brain..." <--lol it definitely make my laugh thanks XD

DarkBlaze252408d ago

No it's you who needs to find their way to common sense because this post was severely lacking any.

As far as the checkerboard rendering goes I think it's pretty neat and can't wait to see it for myself. Been wanting another ps4 and I have a 4k TV so the pro is a perfect match until the Scorpio comes out. And before someone tries to bring up pc I know it's stronger than the Scorpio and will have some of xbox's exclusives (not all like some people claim) but I prefer consoles. Always have and always will and my combo of choice has always been both xb and ps. I'll wait on the switch to see if Nintendo has learned from the wii/wiiu crap.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2408d ago