NVIDIA Moves Real-Time Ray Tracing Forward
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 21 March 2019

NVIDIA is making its Real-time Ray Tracing available on existing GTX graphics cards, including some older models. NVIDIA is also introducing GameWorks RTX, a set of tools and rendering techniques that help game developers add ray tracing to games.

The announcement of the improved support was made at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC), along with the news that Real-Time Ray Tracing is to be integrated into the Unreal Engine, Unity and Top 1st-Party AAA Game Engines.


The move to support ray tracing on existing NVIDIA boards, together with support for ray tracing from Unreal and Unity makes the technology more interesting to games developers. NVIDIA's RTX boards were only launched six months ago and at the moment, few games make use of the technology. This means there's not a great deal to gain for games players to move to the new (more expensive) boards. Once existing boards can use the technology, and the big name game engines say they'll make use of it, there's more incentive for games developers to use it in their games.

The technology will become available to the older boards in April, at which point there will be

"tens of millions of customers who’ll be able to play games with some level of ray tracing”

according to Justin Walker, director of GeForce product management at NVIDIA.

The other announcement made at the same time was the introduction of NVIDIA GameWorks RTX, a set of tools and rendering techniques that help game developers add ray tracing to games. GameWorks RTX is available to the developer community as open source under the GameWorks license and includes plugins for Unreal Engine 4.22 and Unity’s 2019.03 preview release.

The tools in GameWorks RTX start with the RTX Denoiser SDK. This lmakes it easier for developers to use ray tracing by the use of denoising techniques to lower the required ray count and samples per pixel. It includes algorithms for ray traced area light shadows, glossy reflections, ambient occlusion and diffuse global illumination. The toolkit also comes with Nsight for RT. This is a standalone developer tool that can be used to debug and profile graphics applications built with DXR and other supported APIs.

NVIDIA also announced a partnership with Microsoft and Epic Games on the DXR Spotlight contest. The group are looking for game developers and content creators to create tech demos in Unreal Engine 4.22  featuring Microsoft DirectX 12 and DirectX Raytracing for a chance to win NVIDIA RTX TITAN GPUs. You can find more details here.


More Information

Gameworks RTX Website

DXR Spotlight Competition

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 March 2019 )