Intel has announced that its upcoming Xe GPU architecture will launch with ray-tracing support baked into it. However, the support will be available for its data centre graphics card first, and not the consumer variant of its GPU.
Specifically, Intel says that its Xe GPU architecture roadmap for its data centre optimisation includes “ray-tracing hardware acceleration support for the Intel Rendering Framework family of API’s and libraries.” Beyond that, there’s no additional information about the ray-tracing. However, Intel did list down a list of other open-source rendering kernels and middleware. Including Embree, OSPRay, OpenSWR, and Open Image Denoise.
Embree, in particular, is a recent pride point for Intel, as it is currently used in animated film rendering. The most recent title to benefit from this technology is How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; Dreamwork’s third and final instalment to the series.
Apart from that, there’s still no word about when Intel intends to officially launch its consumer-level Xe-powered graphics card.
Ray-tracing is clearly the next step in the realm of graphics fidelity. While GPU maker NVIDIA and its Turing-driven RTX series graphics cards may be the current king of the hill in the industry, Intel is fully aware that hardware acceleration -not software – for ray-tracing is crucial.