Microsoft Showcases Auto SR “Automatic Super Resolution”, The First OS-Integrated AI Upscaling Technology Powered By NPUs

Microsoft has unveiled its Auto SR upscaling technology, Automatic Super Resolution, which utilizes the power of modern-day NPUs to enhance image quality.

Microsoft’s Automatic Super Resolution “Auto SR” Upscaling Technology Focuses Upon Utilizing Capabilities of AI Engines For Visual Enhancement

Well, it’s the first time we have seen an upscaling technology debut at an operating system level since Microsoft’s Automatic Super Resolution (Auto SR) doesn’t depend upon external resources such as graphics cards. Instead, it leverages the new AI engines incorporated into the latest processors, such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite.

Apart from that, it was recently reported that the feature would initially come with Microsoft’s Copilot+ certified AI PCs. Hence, the adoption would be limited initially, but the firm has expansion plans soon, especially after the release of Intel’s upcoming Lunar Lake processors. The technology is different from Direct SR which helps developers integrate Upscaling technologies such as NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR, & Intel XeSS in their games easily.

For a quick rundown on the new upscaling technology, Microsoft explains that Automatic Super Resolution, or Auto SR in short, will enable higher frame rates in existing games in real-time while also enhancing the visual detail displayed on your screen. The company states that the feature will offer a balance exceeding what your PC hardware can achieve. So, somewhat depending upon your GPU for upscaling, the onboard processor will be responsible for the job, but it’s important to note that Auto SR will be compatible only with CPUs with a dedicated NPU onboard, so that’s another complication.

When comparing against similar technologies like NVIDIA’s Image Scaling and Sharpening and AMD’s Radeon Super Resolution, Microsoft says these are inferior assets simply because they do not leverage AI capabilities. Moreover, Auto SR doesn’t require much manual implementation like its competitors, ensuring a straightforward experience for players looking to step into the upscaling world. When enabled, Auto SR will start to do its magic as soon as a player opens up a compatible title.

Native 1440P vs Auto SR 720p

Native 1440P vs Auto SR 720p

Native 720P vs Auto SR 720p

Native 1440P vs Auto SR 720p

Native 720P vs Auto SR 720p

Interestingly, Microsoft has also detailed the workings of its Auto SR technology, disclosing that it utilizes a convolutional neural network trained upon “gaming-relevant” datasets. Then, coordinating with the onboard NPU through many arithmetic operations and memory transfers results in effective visual enhancements. According to Microsoft, Auto SR is a much more efficient upscaling method, as it lessens the burdens on other components, leading to a cumulative performance increase.

To enable Auto SR, all you need to do is to access the Windows Settings, go to System > Display > Graphics panel, and toggle Automatic Super Resolution on.

System requirements

Your device must meet the following requirements for Auto SR:

  • A Copilot+ PC with a Snapdragon X Series processor with Hexagon NPU and an integrated GPU.
  • Windows 11, version 24H2 or later.
  • Latest graphics and neural processor drivers. To manually check for updates, go to Start Settings Windows Update, then select Check for updates.
  • A display resolution of 1080p or greater.
  • Latest version of Auto Super Resolution Package.

Game requirements

Auto SR is supported in most games that run on:

  • DirectX 11 or DirectX 12
  • Emulated x64 or Arm64 native platforms.

Overall, Auto SR is a pretty interesting feature and, by the looks of it, will hold up against the industry’s competitors since Microsoft jumped into the “AI-upscaling” bandwagon quite early. We have covered which games will support Auto SR out of the box in previous coverage (11 titles so far), so you can check it out here.

With the debut of Intel’s Lunar Lake & AMD’s Ryzen AI 300 CPUs, Microsoft’s Auto SR will see more widespread adoption, potentially making it essential for every gamer out there.

Share this story