As a conference focused on professional creatives, SIGGRAPH has become the premier event for anything graphics related. SIGGRAPH 2016 was filled with top companies announcing new products and research for the creative professional and this year will be no different. AMD and NVIDIA are expected to make several announcements related to graphics, high-quality rendering, creation tools and processors.


AMD has already confirmed a SIGGRAPH release of Radeon RX Vega. The graphics card is geared more towards gamers than professionals, but that doesn't say much. AMD released the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition last month and left potential buyers confused. The card was marketed for professionals but included dual-mode drivers to switch between CAD modeling and gaming. The card's specs were underwhelming and couldn't compete with NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti.

It is expected the Radeon RX Vega will be cheaper and run games faster than the Vega Frontier, but that won't be enough to edge out GTX 1080 Ti. AMD may also announce a new card on its professional line, Radeon Pro, to compete with NVIDIA's current top professional card, Quadro P6000.

AMD will showcase research and new products beyond GPUs at SIGGRAPH. Last year, AMD discussed 360-degree video rendering and stitching, and virtual world creation features available in ProRender, an SDK available for Blender, Autodesk, Rhino and Solid Works. AMD is expected to make more advancements through software that supports its processors. With the coming releases of Radeon RX Vega and Ryzen Threadripper, AMD will be poised to update its software offerings.


Last year, NVIDIA made a point to guarantee new announcements at SIGGRAPH each year. NVIDIA may not announce a new GPU, as Quadro P6000 and GTX 1080 Ti were both released less than a year ago. NVIDIA fans should expect more announcements on research and talks on workflow optimizations.

Photo by NVIDIA

NVIDIA has made headways in deep learning and virtual reality and that will continue to be evident at SIGGRAPH. NVIDIA will be demonstrating how to use deep learning to speed up 3D content creation and an in-depth look at VR advancements. One discussion with reveal findings into optic displays for VR headsets, showcasing how to bring virtual objects in focus that is more in line with how human eyes actually see. Another talk will look at more immersive sensors for haptic controls.

Although NVIDIA may not release new processors, the company will be very present throughout the conference.

This post will be updated with announcements as they come in. 


Alexis Macklin is an Analyst with Greenlight Insights covering emerging technology trends at the intersection of VR, AR, and the entertainment industry. Follow her: @Alexis_Macklin.