Intel Lunar Lake laptop CPUs might have a secret weapon to make PC games look better (and photos, too)

A person playing a game on a laptop
Image credit: Canva (Image credit: Canva)

Intel’s next-gen laptop chips known as Lunar Lake could come with a clever trick up their sleeve for making graphics in the best PC games look sharper (and other images besides).

Lunar Lake’s integrated graphics, which will be Xe2 (or Battlemage, second-generation Arc), might be powered up by an adaptive sharpening filter, or at least Intel is looking at introducing this capability as seen in recent Linux patches (spotted by Phoronix).

Nemesa Garg, an Intel engineer, deployed the patch series with notes explaining the feature that is currently being worked on.

The “Display Engine-based adaptive sharpening filter” aims to cure a problem with traditional sharpening techniques that make the entire image sharper, which may not work so well for some portions of the image. Bits of any given scene may be in danger of being over-sharpened or might lose detail.

The gist seems to be that certain elements, such as a character in the foreground, could be nicely sharpened, but other parts, like the background, might be negatively impacted by said sharpening – so those will be left alone.

In short, this would be an intelligent sharpening system with “minimal power and performance impact” we’re told by Garg. It could also be employed outside of games, for example, giving your photos a judicious sharpening too.

Garg observed: “From LNL [Lunar Lake] onwards, the Display hardware can use one of the pipe scaler for adaptive sharpness filter. This can be used for both gaming and non-gaming use cases like photos, image viewing. It works on a region of pixels depending on the tap size.”

Analysis: Shooting for the moon

This sounds like a smart idea, with the obvious caveat that it’s just a work in progress at the moment. If the implementation proves tricky or otherwise goes awry, we might not see the adaptive sharpening filter ever emerge from testing. Or it might be planned for Lunar Lake, but end up in a future generation of Intel silicon, down the line.

It’d definitely be cool to see this in Lunar Lake, though, because these chips are coming this year, or they are supposedly on target to arrive in 2024 as planned, anyway (if not, it will be early 2025 at the latest).

Lunar Lake will be laptop-only CPUs and they’re designed to be highly power-efficient, finding a place inside premium thin-and-light notebooks. With Battlemage integrated graphics, even slim laptops will be able to deliver some decent grunt for gaming, and intelligent sharpening like this (maybe even AI-powered?) could be part of the equation here.

We’ve also recently been hearing about how Lunar Lake will weave its power-sipping, battery-saving magic – by using a fancy power converter chip. Intel is certainly not short of new tech and ideas for this next-gen silicon, that’s for sure.

Via VideoCardz

You might also like

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).