AMD Announces Real-time Ray Tracing Support for ProRender and Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2by Nate Oh on March 19, 2018 8:15 PM EST
First disclosed this evening with teaser videos related to a GDC presentation on Unity, today AMD is announcing two developer-oriented features: real-time ray tracing support for the company's ProRender rendering engine, and Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2.
Though Microsoft’s DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API and NVIDIA’s DXR backend “RTX Technology” were announced today as well, the new ProRender functionality appears to be largely focused on game and graphical development as opposed to an initiative angled for real-time ray tracing in shipping games. Similarly, while Radeon GPU Profiler (RGP) has not received a major update since December 2017, as it is AMD’s low-level hardware-based debugging/tracing tool for Radeon GPUs this is likewise purely for developers.
In any case, for Radeon ProRender AMD is bringing support for mixing real time ray-tracing with traditional rasterization for greater computational speed. As with today's other real-time ray tracing announcements, AMD's focus is on capturing many of the photorealism benefits of ray tracing without the high computational costs. At a basic level this is achieved by limiting the use of ray tracing to where it's necessary, enough so that it can be done in real-time alongside a rasterizer. Unfortunately beyond a high-level overview, this is all AMD has revealed at this time. We're told a proper press release will be coming out tomorrow morning with further details.
As for the new version of RGP, 1.2 introduces interoperability with RenderDoc, a popular frame-capture based graphics debugging tool, as well as improved frame overview. The update also brings detailed barrier codes, relating to granular regulation of graphical work among DX12 units.
Regardless, AMD has yet more to say on the ray-tracing topic. Along with tomorrow's press release, AMD has a GDC talk scheduled for Wednesday on “Real-time ray-tracing techniques for integration into existing renderers,” presumably discussing ProRender in greater detail.