“CPU ray tracing has received tremendous speed ups in the past decade, with works on acceleration structures, traversal algorithms, and packet (or frustum) traversal. While these advancements brought ray tracing into the real-time area, the speed is still generally not acceptable.
PowerVR presents a solution, which proposes to place a small dedicated hardware ray traversal engine (RTE) directly on the GPU die.
The RTE has been conﬁrmed to run at frequencies above 2GHz and can ﬁt into an area less than 15mm2, achieving performance of over 1000 million rays per second.”
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Some details about the new PowerVR GPU with Caustic Graphics ray tracing hardware. UPDATE: Hoax! (see comments)
Just saw this article: http://segaleaks.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/powervr-engineer-speaks/
1000 million rays/second? Not bad at all! It's not clear if this number relates to coherent or incoherent rays, but Caustic's solution seems to reorganize incoherent rays in a way that they appear as coherent to the GPU. According to the Optix paper by Parker et al., a GTX 480 is able to trace almost 200 million ambient occlusion rays/s (when using the hand-optimized ray tracing kernel from Aila and Laine). So this new PowerVR GPU would be five times faster than a GTX480! Definitely something to keep an eye on. It's going to be interesting what Nvidia's reaction will be. I would like them to include some fixed function raytracing hardware as well, because it would be much faster and much more power efficient, but raytracing has to become mainstream before that happens.
UPDATE: As pointed out by Tomas in the comments, the article is apparently a hoax. Too bad, but thanks to Tomas for clearing this up!
All the numbers in the hoax article (2 Ghz, 15 mm2, 1000 million rays/sec) are pulled straight from the paper by Tomas Davidovic entitled "Performance Considerations When Using a Dedicated Ray Traversal Engine" (http://www.davidovic.cz/wiki/lib/exe/fetch.php/school/davidovic_wscg2011/davidovic_wscg2011.pdf)
except that the paper mentions 100 million rays/sec for the RTE instead of 1000 million rays/sec.
Very pathetic journalism, this article would fit much better at a site like semi-accurate where you know beforehand you're reading trash).