[TomsHW]AMD Files Patent for Hybrid Ray Tracing Solution - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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[TomsHW]AMD Files Patent for Hybrid Ray Tracing Solution

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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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[TomsHW]AMD Files Patent for Hybrid Ray Tracing Solution

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AMD filed the patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in December 2017. It describes a hybrid system that enables real-time ray tracing using a variety of software and hardware methods rather than relying on just one solution. The company said this approach should allow it to overcome the shortcomings associated with previous attempts to bring ray tracing to the masses.
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Basically,using software to enable ray tracing on hardware that hasn't been optimized for the rendering technique requires a significant performance sacrifice.
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AMD didn't think hardware-based ray tracing was the answer either. The company said those solutions "suffer from a lack of programmer flexibility as the ray tracing pipeline is fixed to a given hardware configuration," are "generally fairly area inefficient since they must keep large buffers of ray data to reorder memory transactions to achieve peak performance," and are more complex than other GPUs.

So the company developed its hybrid solution. The setup described in this patent application uses a mix of dedicated hardware and existing shader units working in conjunction with software to enable real-time ray tracing without the drawbacks of the methods described above



https://www.tomshardware.com/news/am...ion,39761.html
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 07:05 AM
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So not as good as dedicated Tensor Cores or whatever, but pretty close without having to waste a ton of die space on hardware that's useless 75% of the time.

but I don't really know for sure, too complex for me to understand.


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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 07:16 AM
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It certainly sounds nice on paper, but we really wont know anything about how it does in reality till the tech hits the market. Good to see actual information of work being done on this rather than just promises that it is coming though.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:51 AM
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I knew they were going to use a hybrid approach to this. I wouldn't be surprised if this is use exclusively on Next-Gen Consoles.
This is going to make it very hard for nv users to play those games natively without a lot of driver support (delays).

One example is AMD's fully parallel approach (2 or more calculations happen simultaneously) while Nv still believes in concurrent execution (2 or more calculations happen within a certain time frame) with pre-emption, etc.

Edit:
I wonder if AMD will go full parallel programming on consoles and simply port them over to PC using Power Shell?

Last edited by EastCoast; 07-01-2019 at 10:03 AM.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:01 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
I knew they were going to use a hybrid approach to this. I wouldn't be surprised if this is use exclusively on Next-Gen Consoles.
This is going to make it very hard for nv users to play those games natively without a lot of driver support (delays).

One example is AMD's fully parallel approach (2 or more calculations happen simultaneously) while Nv still believes in concurrent execution (2 or more calculations happen within a certain time frame) with pre-emption, etc.

Edit:
I wonder if AMD will go full parallel programming on consoles and simply port them over to PC using Power Shell?
DX ray tracing and Ray tracing on Vulkan fully supports Nvidia's approach so I don't expect that to be a problem. Both PS4 and Xbox one has AMD GPU yet majority of games on PC side is still more favored on Nvidia side, so I don't expect that to change for next generation.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:03 AM
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All this effort being spent on ray tracing is sort of frustrating. I don't feel like lighting has been the weak point in game visuals for a while. If all this effort was being put towards making textures amazing to look at and and perform even better then I could understand the reasoning.

It feels like they are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:33 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by bigjdubb View Post
All this effort being spent on ray tracing is sort of frustrating. I don't feel like lighting has been the weak point in game visuals for a while. If all this effort was being put towards making textures amazing to look at and and perform even better then I could understand the reasoning.

It feels like they are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist.

The benefit in ray tracing is that you don't need to spend time creating custom shaders to get the exact look you're going for. The end result (after the many years it will take for the entire industry to adapt) would be less time making things look pretty and more time designing fun and engaging games, or coming up with more visually unique titles--since a big chunk of the "make it look pretty" is done already.

At least that's my take on it. We're still like 5 years away from knowing for sure. I totally agree with your frustration. Just trying to find the silver lining and identify long term gains.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:01 PM
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I can feel that, and I have tried to do the same thing (silver lining). Now that AMD is jumping in headfirst it just confirms that this is going to be a thing for a while, I am really looking forward to graphic fidelity sitting still (if not regressing) so that real time ray tracing can be implemented with acceptable performance levels. The quake demo shone a really bright light on the situation for me, the greatest lighting in the world doesn't help a turd look beautiful. You could however wrap that turd in a beautiful texture and make it look way better even with crappy lighting.

What a great time for gaming. Hopefully this real time ray tracing is easier to do than they are letting on, they need to work it out quickly so that they can get back to making games look better.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by bigjdubb View Post
All this effort being spent on ray tracing is sort of frustrating. I don't feel like lighting has been the weak point in game visuals for a while. If all this effort was being put towards making textures amazing to look at and and perform even better then I could understand the reasoning.

It feels like they are trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist.
I understand you completely. But we have to see how it will turn out. I still don't think ray tracing will gain any traction until it can do certain effects quicker than rasterization. A benefit I see of this, is that you don't need to 'separately' calculate ambient lighting, diffuse lighting, specular lighting, shadows, ambient occlusion etc. I suspect that all these effects specifically can potentially be done more efficiently with ray tracing, provided the hardware is there. That's where the benefit will be for the upcoming years. Full ray tracing is still decades off, especially if we're looking at high framerate gaming.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 01:22 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
I knew they were going to use a hybrid approach to this. I wouldn't be surprised if this is use exclusively on Next-Gen Consoles.
This is going to make it very hard for nv users to play those games natively without a lot of driver support (delays).

One example is AMD's fully parallel approach (2 or more calculations happen simultaneously) while Nv still believes in concurrent execution (2 or more calculations happen within a certain time frame) with pre-emption, etc.

Edit:
I wonder if AMD will go full parallel programming on consoles and simply port them over to PC using Power Shell?
or we'll just turn the FPS tanking shiny off for now.

it will definitely be a win for AMD if that's the case, but the timing of the patent doesn't quite match up with being inside the consoles releasing in less than a year. idk jack though, i'm not like the folks around here, Jack no traids, Master of all.

and honestly. Why haven't we gotten a better GPU shadow solution? That's way more archaic than our current lighting tech. Or is all of that moot once we go fully ray traced, thus this is the importance of Ray Tracing. A technology we've all been watching in movies for 15 years, yet is just now creeping up in gaming.

The true goal is converting everyone over to fully ray traced stuff, n thus paying any attention to tuning any other old feature just isn't worth time.

I'd still love for shadows to stop being ugly n CPU based in the meantime.

Also, who else isn't surprised they wen't with a hybrid solution?

also also - what are the future implications of full ray tracing? Will we need to fire up an old PC if we wanna load up a title that doesn't make use of it?

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Last edited by skupples; 07-01-2019 at 01:26 PM.
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