Launching the ray tracing PowerVR Wizard GPUs at GDC 2014: coverage roundup

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Now that the dust has settled over GDC 2014, we have started collecting and analyzing the coverage from the launch of our ray tracing PowerVR Wizard GPU. The week we’ve spent in San Francisco has been one of the busiest we’ve had in recent history: alongside a full day of PowerVR sessions (including two presentations on ray tracing alone), there were tens of briefings and meetings; on top of that, people were queuing on out booth to see the hybrid rendering demo and to ask questions regarding the new ray tracing architecture and PowerVR GR6500, the first ray tracing GPU IP processor from the Wizard family we announced at the event.

PowerVR GR6500 GPU - PowerVR Wizard GPUsPowerVR GR6500 is the first member of the PowerVR Wizard ray tracing GPU family

In case you’ve missed any of the coverage, we’ve put together a selection of the articles that cover the topic. Skimming through the list, the general consensus is that our implementation makes sense; press and analysts agreed that providing a scalable solution which can fit inside your next-generation tablet or power your high-performance console ensures a smooth transition path between ultra-realistic games running across all of your main gaming devices.

Furthermore, a lot of developers were very excited to get a glimpse at the possibilities of improving pre-baked lighting using the new tool inside the Unity 5 game engine that is based on our PowerVR Ray Tracing technology. This allows for near instantaneous feedback for changes to global illumination lightmaps by displaying an accurate preview in the editor’s scene view of how lighting will look in the final game.

Make sure you follow our PowerVR Ray Tracing blog in the following months as we delve deeper into the ray tracing techniques for games and explain how the technology works. For those of you who were unable to attend GDC, we are preparing a video that walks you through the main proof-points of our hybrid rendering demo (hard and soft shadows, reflections, transparency).
For the latest news and announcements from our PowerVR ecosystem, keep in touch with us on Twitter (@ImaginationTech, @PowerVRInsider).
Alex Voica

Alex Voica

Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

4 thoughts on “Launching the ray tracing PowerVR Wizard GPUs at GDC 2014: coverage roundup”

  1. anandtech did a review of R9 295X2 which
    contains a LuxMark 2.0 benchmark which measures
    ray tracing.
    I would be curious if you have number for Wizard GPU.
    The number for
    R9 295X2 was 2,933 samples per second.
    R9 290 got 1,346
    GTX Titan Black got 1,276
    GeForce GTX 780 got 679
    Radeon HD 6990 got 659

    • Hi,
      What we launched at GDC 2014 was the ray tracing GPU IP; it will take some time before we can have hardware to run benchmarks on.
      However, LuxMark seems to be a benchmark that uses GPU compute-based ray tracing (OpenCL).
      Our Wizard architecture uses dedicated ray tracing hardware to compute intersections and maintain coherency therefore we need to ensure that these comparisons are fair and balanced. For carefully selected scenes, you can have a high theoretical GPU compute-based throughput given by the vast compute resources of a desktop-class GPU. Our approach is different, targets mobile but can scale very easily to desktop PCs and consoles.
      Best regards,

      • So what you are saying is that
        Wizards doesn’t use same API (OpenCL/OpenGL) but special
        extension proprietary to Imagination.
        Obviously then comparison won’t matter
        and won’t be compatible with current software. Oh Well.
        Everyone here understands the difference between
        5W TDP GPU and 500W water cooled GPU.
        I am just trying to see beyond demo reel in order to understand
        the benefit and implications to what is already available.
        I also understand the Imagination tries hard to keep comparison until it absolutely has to like the 192 core bit
        just to tamp down K2 hype.

  2. I’m very glad to see a positive reception of this GPU. No doubt, ray-tracing is here to stay. Now we need some solid demos to get developers excited about what can be done.
    But I can’t help but wondering if this ray-tracing hardware would be useful as a separate SoC block in addition to being a GPU. I intuit that would increase adoption across SoCs. Sure, it could introduce a bunch of design redundancies, but it could also offer the ability to complement GPUs from other vendors, and establish a new market with ImgTec firmly in the lead.


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