Ray tracing, or ray tracing as it is called in English, has finally become something that can be achieved in real time. Since the 1980s, it has been used in 3D rendering, for example in Pixar’s movies, but it was only with Nvidia’s RTX technology that it became possible to use it in games.
AMD has also developed radiation tracking via hardware in the RDNA 2 architecture used in the new Radeon RX 6000 series, and in the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5.
On the PC side, radiation tracking has so far only been available via Microsoft’s Directx 12 and Nvidia’s RTX cards, but now there will be a change. Khronos Group has completed the development of a new version of the Vulcan 3D graphics programming interface with support for the technology.
Vulkan is used in games such as Doom Eternal, Half-Life Alyx and Rainbow Six Siege, and is available in addition to Windows also for Linux (and Mac OS via translation to Metal), and as an open standard it can be used freely by anyone . Both AMD and Nvidia have been active in the development of radiation tracking for Vulkan, which according to Nvidia has taken several years.
Nvidia has also updated Quake 2 RTX with support for Vulkan. The game is the first to use beam tracking for all lighting and the 23-year-old game thus turns into one of the most hardware-demanding games ever.