Anaheim (CA) – Ray-tracing is one of the big topics gamers and graphics enthusiasts should pay special attention to these days. AMD already demonstrated Transformers and Ruby Ray-traced demos using pre-rendered and real-time rendered voxels, Intel is busy working on its own ray-tracer, and now we are seeing much more obvious ray-tracing material from Nvidia as well.
Even though it may not be that obvious, Nvidia is currently the undisputed leader in the field of ray-tracing. A while ago, Nvidia bought MentalRay, which made the company a standard in Hollywood.
At Siggraph 2008, Nvidia showed a fully interactive GPU-based ray tracer, which featured real-time ray tracing in 30 fps and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This demo included about everything that can currently be done with ray-tracing: A a two-million polygon demo, an image-based paint shader, ray traced shadows, reflections and refractions.
The hardware behind the images was also about as high-end as you can go these days: Four Quadro FX 5800 graphics cards. The next-gen Quadro boards are based on GT200(b) GPUs, come with 240 shaders and 4 GB of GDDR3 memory (for a total of 960 shaders and 16 GB of GDDR3 memory).