Powering the Metaverse

The concept of “Metaverse” has been the subject of science fiction for some time, and we are now starting to see manifestations beginning to emerge.  To explain what “Metaverse” means, let me quote Wikipedia:

The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, in a three-dimensional space that uses the metaphor of the real world.

In simple terms, the idea is that we have an immersive social experience with a potential for incredible depth.

There are various building blocks, and challenges, to consider in order to make the Metaverse a reality, and in this post we’ll explore the dynamics between fidelity and latency.


Unreal Engine 5 Demo by Epic Games

Variance in graphics quality and frame rate continue to be a challenge for cross-play as friends get together to play online.  While these things are not a deal breaker, it’s important to consider that the appetite for better visuals will continue to increase.  One technology that we can expect to be ready to support this growing demand is cloud computing.  Specifically cloud-based GPU solutions.  Today (today!) we can already see demand for more capable graphics cards outpacing supply for those of us building game PCs.  So it is not farfetched to speculate that solutions such NVIDIA GPU Cloud Solutions will be a contender to help support the Metaverse.


We have already seen various cloud based gaming experiences emerge with varying degrees of success.  I myself have used them and they are great when they work, but too many things can go wrong including the dreaded low latency.  We are susceptible to issues in different parts of the communication pipeline from our home to the data centers, but there is potential for mobile/wireless solutions to circumvent some of these issues.  This is an area were 5G can help, since at its core, it is expected to deliver faster speeds and lower latency.

While GPU/CPU and Telecommunication titans battle it out for dominance of the impending Metaverse, our future explorations will dive into the experiences themselves.  Who builds the Metaverse?  How will they build it? Will new organizational patterns emerge to support this scale of manufacturing effort?  We have much more to discuss…