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Intel Xe graphics architecture will support hardware-level ray tracing

By Wong Chung Wee - on 3 May 2019, 2:30pm

Intel Xe graphics architecture will support hardware-level ray tracing

The Aurora exascale supercomputer will feature Intel Xe compute architecture. (Image source: Intel)

In an announcement at FMX’19 in Stuttgart, Germany this week, Intel revealed its upcoming Xe graphics architecture will feature hardware-level ray tracing support.

Preliminary ‘work in progress’ USD version of Moana Island scene (Image source: Walt Disney Animation Studios via Intel)

The Intel Xe GPU is primarily targeted at data centers and the segment that will benefit most is the movies and entertainment industry. This is where animation studios can leverage on the entire suite of Intel solutions for their state-of-the-art visual effects. They include Intel Rendering Framework open source software libraries and its recently-launched 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs.

Screen capture of OSPRay Studio application rendering the Moroccan Ocean Shelf with Intel OSPRay and Intel OpenVKL (Image source: Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin and the Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbon and Mining via Intel)

As highlighted in a recent Intel blog, the Intel Xe GPU architecture implementations will span a wide range, from consumer products like mainstream notebooks and high-end gaming systems, to enterprise-grade computing solutions for data centers.

We have reported about Intel’s discrete GPU efforts in the past where they allegedly planned to target the PC gaming market segment; however, it appears Intel has broaden its implementation to include data centers and mainstream notebooks. More details of the new graphics architecture should be revealed soon as Intel has plans to ship solutions based on the Xe compute architecture by 2020.

Source: Intel (1), (2)