In an announcement that may have far reaching consequences for the world of gaming, VR, mixed reality and cinematic content, Imagination technologies and Octane have linked arms to make their technologies even better by complementing each other. The companies are integrating support for the PowerVR Ray Tracing technology into the upcoming Octane Render 4 rendering engine.
Before we go any further, let us take a brief look at both the technologies. If you have already been following Octane and Imagination Technologies, feel free to skip a couple of paragraphs and continue reading. So first of all, what exactly is the Octane Renderer? Well, the Octane render 4 succeeds the Render 3, which was the world’s first and fastest GPU-accelerated, unbiased, physically correct rendering software.
It uses the graphics card in your computer to create photo-realistic images far more quickly than any other platform. So basically, it helps you create graphics that actually look real. Understandably, such a system has a vast potential for application in fields like gaming, movies and more recently, virtual reality.
To understand the second part of the equation, let us first look at what ray tracing actually is. If you are still reading this, you are probably interested in and familiar with the concept of 3-Dimensions. Graphic rendering is basically the creation of images involving all three dimensions. This is exactly where ray tracing comes in. Actually, the problem of rendering 3D graphics can be conceptually presented as finding all intersections between a set of primitives and a set of rays. Imagination technologies has been working in the field for several years and is responsible for systems that have reduced the cost and effort of deploying ray tracing.
The PowerVR Wizard GPU family is the culmination of 8 years of Imagination’s work in the direction. The range consists of powerful IP processors that offer high-performance ray tracing, graphics and are capable of computing in a power envelope that can be deployed by mobiles and other embedded use cases. As Imaginary itself puts it,
This opens up the potential of highly photorealistic, computer generated imagery to a host of new real-time applications and markets not previously possible.
Some of the prominent features of the PowerVR GR6500 GPU, which is being used to run the Octane Render 4 software, are as follow:
- Unmatched real-world ray tracing performance: Up to 300 MRPS (million rays per second), 24 billion node tests per second and 100 million dynamic triangles per second at 600 MHz
- PowerGearing G6XT for advanced power management and dynamic resource allocation
- PVR3C™ triple compression technologies (PVRTC and ASTC for texture compression, PVRIC for frame buffer compression, PVRGC for geometry compression)
- Deep Color support for very high image quality at Ultra HD resolutions and beyond.
Also, the PowerVR Wizard GPU architecture is capable of generating photorealistic image quality for console-level gaming and next-generation VR apps, while delivering up to 50x better energy efficiency in ray tracing performance when compared to a traditional desktop GPU. In short, significantly better performance at a higher efficiency with lower power consumption. What else can you ask for?
Coming back to the announcement at hand, the combination of the Octane Render 4 software running on a PowerVR GR6500 GPU is proving to be particularly potent one. Data from Octane shows that the combination is able to trace over 100 million rays per second in fully dynamic scenes, within a power envelope suitable for mobile, VR and AR devices. And there are other benefits to the combination of the latest in both software and hardware as well.
OctaneRender 4 running on the PowerVR Ray Tracing hardware delivers a 10x increase in ray tracing performance per watt over the best GPGPU-based ray tracing implementations pioneered by OTOY’s OctaneRender and Brigade Engine. This performance boost combined with the incredibly low energy consumption of the PowerVR GPU (2 watts) means the chip traces rays orders of magnitude more efficiently than a workstation GPU.
The combo has proved to be highly capable in its initial testing. Not only has it allowed an unprecedented photorealism in game engines with OctaneRender integration — such as Unity (Temple Run, HearthStone) and Unreal Engine (Warhammer, Tekken 7) — but has also proved to significantly improve the rendering speed in Octane-enabled content creation applications of the likes of Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya, LightWave, Cinema4D, Blender, Modo, Adobe After Effects and Nuke.
In English, games made using this technology are likely to look more real, allow for smoother gameplay, and make you feel like you have arrived at the gamer’s paradise. Meanwhile, Imaginary Technologies believes that this is only the beginning.
These results are just the tip of the iceberg. We expect to make further performance enhancements that will significantly increase performance in upcoming releases.
Well, i don’t know about you but after reading all this, i cant wait to get my hands on a game made using the state-of-the-art Octane Render 4 running upon the PowerVR GR6500 GPU. Meanwhile, with the exponentially increasing craze of AR, VR and even gaming in general, if the combination is even half as good as the companies claim, Imaginary Technologies and Octane are likely to have their fill of business.