To the uninitiated, images just look look sharper and more detailed because of improved resolution. But, there’s much more to that, one of which is ray tracing, a rendering technique used to generate an image by tracing the path of light as pixels in an image plane and simulating the effects of its encounters with virtual objects.
While this technique is capable of producing a very high degree of visual realism, it does require a vast amount of computational power. At SIGGRAPH in Vancouver this morning, NVIDIA launched its NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture that features new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tensor Cores for AI inferencing which make real-time ray tracing possible a reality.
Dubbed “the greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006”, Turing ushers in a new generation of hybrid rendering to address the US$250 billion visual effects industry.
Hybrid rendering enables cinematic-quality interactive experiences, amazing new effects powered by neural networks and fluid interactivity on highly complex models.
The first Turing-based products are the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs which are claimed to revolutionise the work of some 50 million designers and artists across multiple industries. These products will be available in the last quarter of the year.
“Turing is NVIDIA’s most important innovation in computer graphics in more than a decade. Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences. The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry,” said Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA.
Turing enables the world’s first ray-tracing GPU and is the result of more than 10,000 engineering-years of effort.
By using Turing’s hybrid rendering capabilities, applications can simulate the physical world at six times the speed of the previous Pascal generation.
NVIDIA has enhanced its RTX development platform with new AI, ray tracing and simulation SDKs as well as announced that key graphics applications are planning to take advantage of Turing features through the RTX development platform.
“This is a significant moment in the history of computer graphics. NVIDIA is delivering real-time ray tracing five years before we had thought possible,” said Jon Peddie, CEO of JPR.