Imagination Technologies announces Wizard line of GPUs, focused on ray tracing.

Discussion in 'Mobile Graphics Architectures and IP' started by anexanhume, Mar 18, 2014.

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  1. tangey

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    less than 6 weeks ago:-
    Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE: IMG, "Imagination") announces that Apple has extended its multi-year, multi-use license agreement, which gives Apple access to Imagination's wide range of current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores

    The details of what the above entails, is clearly where fact ends and supposition begins.
     
  2. Lazy8s

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    Getting anywhere close to that level of ray tracing performance from a mobile SoC that's purported to simultaneously sustain substantial rasterization/shading capacity suggests ray tracing efficiency well beyond anything I've known before as well as a very complementary integration of the two rendering approaches in hardware and software.

    Still, I wouldn't expect that Apple would use the specific GR6500 Wizard core for a 2015 SoC (and especially not if it couldn't make it into their SoC until 2016) because it would only provide a relatively minor improvement in the rasterization/shading aspect of performance over their current four-cluster Series6 core. A six cluster GR6700 or eight cluster GR6900 core, maybe.
     
  3. Lazy8s

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    More insight into the hybrid rendering work flow:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/Alex...tical_techniques_for_ray_tracing_in_games.php

    I caught a few more glimpses of the wide range of PowerVR demos at 2014's GDC off Twitter. The hybrid renderer demos were quite a bit slicker than the screenshots convey, although demo teams continue to be challenged by how to best display the benefits of ray tracing (they seem to usually highlight effects that raster engines have already refined quite a lot, like car reflections, while not focusing enough on the close-up, subtle transference of color between mostly opaque surfaces that people aren't used to seeing much from raster engines -- with the exception of a little PRT here and there -- and therefore create a bigger wow.) The demos for the standard Series6, like Soft Kitty and some GL ES 3.x effect showcases, looked really nice, too.

    This is one GDC, for ImgTec's showing and that of several other companies as well, that I really, really wish I could've attended.
     
  4. sebbbi

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    I am impressed that someone combined a RT front end to existing (programmable) GPU shader cores instead of creating a separate (mostly fixed function) special purpose hardware. This makes perfect business sense (minor extra die space requirement) and perfect sense for developer perspective as well (not much idling hardware in rendering steps (and games) that don't use RT).
     
  5. rpg.314

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    GR6500 would be too slow for even the A8 SoC. I am not sure if Apple would license it unless it was performance competitive with their pure rasterization IPs. Neccessary conditions for Apple's adoption,

    1) The Wizard roadmap will have to catch up with Rogue
    2) The SW API be standardized by Khronos.

    We'll see how this plays out.
     
  6. rpg.314

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    I am aware of that, but I am sceptical (but would be delighted to be proven wrong) that this will come to consumer market. We'll see.
     
  7. Psycho

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    I looks like a very interesting archicture, and well integrated into a normal modern gpu design.
    I don't see the slides online, so here is most of those I found interesting (sry, some are a bit shaken): http://imgur.com/a/8zHHE#1

    They have a lot of focus on piling jobs properly up for the SIMD nature of both the regular shader units (eg #5,6 - colors are diff materials, boxes are workgroups) and internally in the raytracer (eg #13 - how the pile up rays for further parallel propagation in the BVH).
    And apart from the inherent fixed-function effeciency (eg the 44x slide), i think all these coherency fixups are one of the things that really offsets it from a normal compute based solution.
     
  8. Lazy8s

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    Thanks for the slides!

    This architecture may be coming at just the right time. Some of the latest raster lighting approaches are starting to operate along the lines of ray tracing to achieve their desired effects, and Wizard should provide the hardware for them to do it far more efficiently.

    The ray shaders would be a more optimal approach to implementing many new effects at a high quality.
     
  9. Arnold Beckenbauer

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    Implementing hybrid ray tracing in a rasterized game engine

     
  10. Lazy8s

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    Standalone VR headset designs could benefit from Wizard GPUs, as the presentations alluded. Not needing wires running from the headset to an external processing device or power supply is freeing. For the graphics themselves, focusing the ray budget at where the user is specifically looking should benefit efficiency.

    At the other end of the VR market spectrum, the location-based amusement industry is positioned to go all-out with VR arcade stations if they pursue it, complete with deluxe force-feedback peripherals and higher end technology. Hopefully, the comment from the Sega Sammy amusement division rep in the Wizard press release is indicative of some partnership there.
     
    #30 Lazy8s, May 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2014
  11. TomK

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  12. monstercameron

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    https://imgtec.com/news/press-relea...dware-platform-cinematic-real-time-rendering/

    "...OctaneRender 4, running on the current PowerVR Wizard GR6500 Ray Tracing hardware, is able to trace over 100 million rays per second in fully dynamic scenes, within a power envelope suitable for lightweight mobile, VR and AR glasses. According to Imagination, these results are just the tip of the iceberg. The company expects performance to significantly increase based on improvements already in the pipeline..."
     
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  13. Rodéric

    Rodéric a.k.a. Ingenu
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    Ray Tracing is so much better than the massive bag of tricks & hacks I have to deal with daily for AAA games !
    Can't wait to have a hybrid device to work on, that would be damn fun !
     
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  14. monstercameron

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