NVIDIA Launches Interactive Ray Tracing Engine

NVIDIA Launches Interactive Ray Tracing Engine

NVIDIA LAUNCHES THE WORLD'S FIRST INTERACTIVE RAY TRACING ENGINE

NVIDIA OptiX Engine Joins Groundbreaking Suite of Application Acceleration Engines

SIGGRAPH 2009, NEW ORLEANS-Aug. 4, 2009- NVIDIA, the leader in GPU computing, today introduced the NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine, part of a suite of application acceleration engines for software developers. NVIDIA acceleration engines make it easy to incorporate valuable, high-performance capabilities into applications, while simultaneously reducing development time.

NVIDIA application acceleration engines unveiled at Siggraph 2009 include:

  • NVIDIA OptiX engine for real-time ray tracing
  • NVIDIA SceniX engine for managing 3D data and scenes
  • NVIDIA CompleX engine for scaling performance across multiple GPUs
  • NVIDIA PhysX 64-bit engine for real-time, hyper-realistic physical and environmental effects

As the world's first interactive ray tracing engine to leverage the GPU, the NVIDIA OptiX engine is a programmable ray tracing pipeline enabling software developers to easily bring new levels of realism to their applications using traditional C programming. By tapping into the massively parallel computing power of NVIDIA Quadro processors, the OptiX engine greatly accelerates the ray tracing used across a spectrum of disciplines, including: photorealistic rendering, automotive styling, acoustical design, optics simulation, volume calculations and radiation research. Application developers are utilizing the OptiX engine to redefine what's possible for designers, engineers and researchers.

"In one year, NVIDIA has gone from proving interactive GPU ray tracing is possible, to making it available to all," said Jon Peddie, founder and president of Jon Peddie Research. "Intricate design tasks, such as examining the play of reflection and refraction across surfaces and within glass, can now be examined in real-time by utilizing the OptiX acceleration engine running on Quadro processors. This is a phenomenal milestone for developers and designers alike."

"Thousands of applications are being created today that harness the phenomenal power of GPUs, a clear sign that GPU computing has reached a tipping point. The world of computing is shifting from host-bound processing on CPUs to balanced co-processing on GPUs and CPUs," said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions, NVIDIA. "NVIDIA application acceleration engines arm developers with the tools they need to further revolutionize both real-time graphics and advanced data analysis."

The NVIDIA SceniX scene management engine provides the interactive core for demanding real-time, professional 3D graphics applications. Whether used in leading products such as RTT DeltaGen, Autodesk Showcase and Anark Media Studio, or in scores of in-house tools used for advanced visualization, simulation, broadcast graphics, medical imagery, and energy exploration, developers look to the SceniX engine for the interactive framework to manage 3D data and convey results in real-time at high fidelity.

The NVIDIA CompleX scene scaling engine enables applications to maintain interactivity when working with extremely large and complex models. By automatically utilizing the combined memory and processing power of multiple GPUs within Quadro Plex visual computing systems, applications that utilize the CompleX engine enable users to explore and visualize all their data in full context, instead of piecemeal.

The NVIDIA PhysX 64-bit physics engine brings hyper-realistic, real-time physics to professional applications. Already a proven and popular solution within the computer games industry, the 64-bit version of PhysX will permit more accurate calculations on far larger data sets for engineers, designers and animators wanting to interrogate their data, model physical properties and breathe life into their work.

"The SceniX acceleration engine has been a critical part of our success in the automotive styling industry," said Christian Matzen, COO, ICIDO, a global leader in virtual engineering solutions. "Based on the ease of integrating OptiX within SceniX, and its stunning visual results, we plan on delivering interactive ray tracing to our design customers later this year."

"The CompleX engine is essential for our application to accommodate the massive data sets of customers like StatoilHydro," said Thorolf Horn Tonjum, Director of R&D Stormfjord, a Norwegian development company serving the visualization needs of the energy industry. "By using the SceniX engine to power our scene graph, we easily incorporated the CompleX engine to keep navigation smooth for 10 GB scenes, and the PhysX 64-bit engine to study the challenges off shore oil rigs must face. These engines from NVIDIA accelerate not only our product, but also our time to market."

NVIDIA will be showcasing the new suite of application acceleration engines this week at the SIGGRAPH 2009 conference and exhibition in New Orleans; booth #2101.

Pricing and Availability
NVIDIA application acceleration engines are available from the NVIDIA Developer Zone at no charge. The SceniX and CompleX engines can be downloaded at http://developer.nvidia.com/page/home.html. The OptiX and PhysX 64-bit engines will be available in fall of 2009. Interactive ray tracing examples using the pre-release OptiX engine can be downloaded at http://developer.nvidia.com/object/optix-examples.html and run on NVIDIA Quadro FX processors.

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I notice they were careful not to say it would be used for gaming, which leads me to think it's not quite ready in the speed department. But, if they get it out there and start optimizing it now, we might actually start to see ray-traced games within the next couple of rounds of hardware refreshes!

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I think it'll be a while before we see anyting purely ray-traced. There will be some sort of hybrid rasterization / ray-tracing solution, similar to what's mentioned here, before anything else.

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I won't disagree with that. I think when they first started announcing this stuff about a year ago I was predicting 4-5 years for them to make good on the promise. That's still plenty of time for a couple of intermediate cards that use the hybrid approach you suggest.

I think how fast they get there really all depends on how much competition they have - So let's hope AMD/ATI has some surprises coming.

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