Intel Confirms Real-Time Ray Tracing For Its Xe GPU Architecture

Next year Intel will be bringing its discrete GPUs to the market and the company has confirmed hardware supported real-time Ray Tracing for its Xe GPU architecture.

For the time being, Nvidia RTX GPUs are the only GPUs in the market capable of rendering Ray Tracing in video games using their RT Cores. However, Intel won’t compete with Nvidia with the help of its Xe GPU architecture in the gaming sector.

I’m pleased to share today that the Intel® Xe architecture roadmap for data center optimized rendering includes ray tracing hardware acceleration support for the Intel® Rendering Framework family of API’s and libraries.

Instead, Intel will compete with the likes of Nvidia Quadro and Tesla GPUs. Meaning, Intel is targeting High-Performance Computing market comprising of Data centers, AI and more.

As for gaming, Intel hasn’t revealed any plans to release GPU targeting gamers but if it does then I expect Intel GPUs to support real-time Ray Tracing.

Speaking of Ray Tracing, this feature won’t remain exclusive to PC as Sony has confirmed PlayStation 5 specs.

According to Sony, the upcoming PlayStation 5 features Navi GPU capable of rendering real-time Ray Tracing. This means next-gen video games will take a huge leap in realistic lighting and visuals.

As for the rest of the specs, next-gen PS5 features a custom AMD chip based on 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture with 8 physical Cores. There is a chance that Xbox APU will also be the same and might also support real-time Ray Tracing.

As I mentioned above, Nvidia RTX 20 series GPUs are the only GPUs in the market capable of rendering Ray Tracing. Technically that’s not entirely true.

Last month Nvidia rolled out driver update that brought real-time Ray Tracing support to Nvidia GTX 10 and GTX 16 series GPUs. You need at least GTX 1060 to be able to play games with Ray Tracing enabled.

However, having this feature enabled for GTX 10 and 16 series GPUs isn’t worth it as these GPUs aren’t capable of playing games at an acceptable FPS with Ray Tracing. Even GTX 1080 Ti can’t play games above 20 FPS with Ray Tracing enabled.

The reason why these GPUs can’t do it is that Nvidia RTX GPUs have dedicated RT Cores to render ray tracing while GTX 10 and 16 series GPUs do it at a software level.

Also, if you are experiencing high-CPU usage with Nvidia Container then Nvidia has rolled out Hotfix Driver 430.53 that fixes the high CPU usage.

Source: Intel