Imagination Technologies is to announce a new set of GPU designs which could turn the industry on its head.

The technology, called Wizard, uses ray tracing and is something which has been run inefficiently in shaders.

Wizard however has cleaned the old method's clock by introducing dedicated ray tracing hardware into their consumer GPU designs.

No Raster man

This means that important effects, which include lighting/shadows, transparencies, and reflections do not have to use traditional rasterization based processes. Rasterization is not bad but has drawbacks including memory, geometry, performance and other accuracy problems.

Wizard is an extension of Imagination's existing PowerVR Series6XT Rogue designs which has additional blocks necessary to do ray tracing. This means that it can be as capable as Rogue in traditional rasterization rendering, but can do ray tracing on top of it.

The GR6500 is the first Wizard design and it is a variant of the existing Series6XT GX6450 and has a ray tracing functionality is composed of a Ray Tracing Data Master, the Ray Tracing Unit, the Scene Hierarchy Generator, and the Frame Accumulation Cache.

Ray tracing is a big gamble for Imagination but it has so many advantages it is hard to see why other GPU makers should not follow suit.

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