Original 16-bit Genesis®
https://www.anandtech.com/show/12547/expanding-directx-12-microsoft-announces-directx-raytracingDirectX Raytracing then is Microsoft laying the groundwork to make this practical by creating an API for ray tracing that works with the company’s existing rasterization APIs. Technically speaking GPUs are already generic enough that today developers could implement a form of ray tracing just through shaders, however doing so would miss out on the opportunity to tap into specialized GPU hardware units to help with the task, not to mention the entire process being non-standard. So both to expose new hardware capabilities and abstract some of the optimization work around this process to GPU vendors, instead this functionality is being implemented through new API commands for DirectX 12.
But like Microsoft’s other DirectX APIs it’s important to note that the company isn’t defining how the hardware should work, only that the hardware needs to support certain features. Past that, it’s up to the individual hardware vendors to create their own backends for executing DXR commands. As a result – and especially as this is so early – everyone from Microsoft to hardware vendors are being intentionally vague about how hardware acceleration is going to work.
AMD Announcement: https://www.anandtech.com/show/1255...cing-for-prorender-and-radeon-gpu-profiler-12
NVIDIA Announcement: https://www.anandtech.com/show/1254...tracing-acceleration-for-volta-gpus-and-later
Not sure how this is going to pan out. Raytracing has traditionally been slow as hell. This maybe a repeat of tessellation.