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CSAA produces antialiased images that rival the quality of 8x or 16x MSAA, while introducing only a minimal performance hit over standard (typically 4x) MSAA. It works by introducing the concept of a new sample type: a sample that represents coverage. This differs from previous AA techniques where coverage was always inherently tied to another sample type. In supersampling for example, each sample represents shaded color, stored color/z/stencil, and coverage, which essentially amounts to rendering to an oversized buffer and downfiltering. MSAA reduces the shader overhead of this operation by decoupling shaded samples from stored color and coverage; this allows applications using antialiasing to operate with fewer shaded samples while maintaining the same quality color/z/stencil and coverage sampling. CSAA further optimizes this process by decoupling coverage from color/z/stencil, thus reducing bandwidth and storage costs.

Read the full CSAA white paper

Posted on 01/03/2007