CAD Tech News (#92)

15 Aug, 2018 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ NVIDIA's Turing Tech Takes Real-Time Ray-Tracing GPUs to Next Level

At SIGGRAPH 2018, the graphics solutions developer celebrates achievement of a longtime goal, and launches a new graphics processing unit (GPU) lineup starting at $2,300.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

You may know "Turing" as the name of a brilliant computer scientist — or of his eponymous test, which determines whether a machine appears human during conversational exchanges. This week, NVIDIA introduced a new Turing to the world, in the form of a graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture that NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang called the "greatest leap" in graphics progress since the invention of NVIDIA's CUDA GPU, back in 2006.

At the same time, NVIDIA also revealed its first GPUs based on the Turing architecture. During his keynote presentation at SIGGRAPH 2018, Huang hailed the new Quadro RTX as "the world's first ray-tracing GPU," capable of rendering photorealistic scenes interactively, in real time. With the ability to render as many as 10 giga-rays (each representing one billion light paths) per second, "the performance [of the Quadro RTX] is absolutely incredible," said Huang, who joked that it should be called "the world's first giga-ray GPU."

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang holds a new Quadro RTX GPU. Image courtesy of NVIDIA.
NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang holds a new Quadro RTX GPU. Image courtesy of NVIDIA.

While graphics technology has become increasingly sophisticated with each passing year, the realistic simulation of light has remained a roadblock to creating photorealistic graphics in real time. Ray tracing, which calculates the paths taken by light bouncing off various surfaces and materials, convincingly mimics the behavior of light in the real world — but is very computationally demanding. Real-time ray tracing, in which users can interact with scenes without a delay for processing each time an element of the scene is adjusted, has been the Holy Grail of computer graphics, Huang said. Now, a "standard workstation" equipped with one of the new Quadro RTX GPUs is capable of real-time ray tracing, NVIDIA says.

If this announcement seems somehow familiar, you may recall that NVIDIA first announced real-time ray tracing capabilities in March of this year, at its GPU Technology Conference (GTC). But as Alex Herrera pointed out in "What Does NVIDIA's Ray Tracing News Mean for the CAD Market?" that initial step in NVIDIA's plan did not represent "mainstream real-time ray tracing," as the Quadro GV100 price tag of $9,000 put it out of reach of the great majority of workstation users. The new Quadro RTX lineup, in contrast, includes three models: the 5000, 6000, and 8000 — priced at $2,300, $6,300, and $10,000, respectively. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.


AutoCAD Video Tips: Search and Rescue for AutoCAD Xrefs
Is there anything worse than broken xref links in AutoCAD? They can take hours to correct, depending on the extent of the path damage. Join AutoCAD tipster Lynn Allen to learn some amazing shortcuts to finding and repairing broken links that will save you loads of valuable time! Watch the video »

CAD Manager Column: The Continuing Value of Local, Customized CAD
Cloud-based CAD is being heavily promoted by software companies, but there are concrete reasons why CAD managers may be better off sticking with locally installed CAD that's tailored to their users' needs. Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: CAD Workstation Form Factors 101, Part 4 — New Flavors of Mobile Workstations Diversify the Spectrum
As mobile workstations become ever more popular, the form-factor options buyers have to choose from are expanding to include exotic display types and portability options. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

More News and Resources from Cadalyst Partners

For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!

For Architects! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the building design professional. Sponsored by HP.  Visit the Equipped Architect here!