PS5’s Compression Tech Will Ensure ‘Fastest Data Loading Ever,’ Says Development Tool Maker

RAD Game Tools, the creator of Oodle compression solutions, has penned a lengthy blog post explaining how the PlayStation 5 will benefit from Oodle Kraken and Oodle Texture compression techniques.

Sony has licensed Oodle for the PS5, and according to middleware programmer Charles Bloom, the console will have “the fastest data loading ever available in a mass market consumer device,” thanks to a fast SSD, “excellent” input/output system, and the Oodle Kraken hardware decoder.

The blog is full of technical jargon so we’ll share parts of it below. Those who want to go through the full explanation should head over to the source.

Kraken compression acts as a multiplier for the IO speed and disk capacity, storing more games and loading faster in proportion to the compression ratio. Sony has previously published that the SSD is capable of 5.5 GB/s and expected decompressed bandwidth around 8-9 GB/s, based on measurements of average compression ratios of games around 1.5 to 1. While Kraken is an excellent generic compressor, it struggled to find usable patterns on a crucial type of content : GPU textures, which make up a large fraction of game content. Since then we’ve made huge progress on improving the compression ratio of GPU textures, with Oodle Texture which encodes them such that subsequent Kraken compression can find patterns it can exploit. The result is that we expect the average compression ratio of games to be much better in the future, closer to 2 to 1.

When a game needs data on PS5, it makes a request to the IO system, which loads compressed data from the SSD; that is then handed to the hardware Kraken decoder, which outputs the decompressed data the game wanted to the RAM. As far the game is concerned, they just get their decompressed data, but with higher throughput.

Bloom revealed that Sony has licensed Oodle Texture for PS4 and PS5 games. However, since it’s “a very new technology,” not all PS5 games will utilize it at launch. “We expect it to be in the majority of PS5 games in the future,” he added.

[Source: C Bloom via ResetEra]