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Intel’s Embree – Photo-Realistic Ray Tracing Kernels

by on July 7, 2011

Intel has just released a collection of Code Kernels to do photo-realistic ray-tracing entirely using instruction accelerators (SSE and AVX) on the CPU.

Embree is a collection of high-performance ray tracing kernels, developed at Intel Labs. The kernels are optimized for photo-realistic rendering on the latest Intel® processors with support for the SSE and AVX instruction sets. In addition to the ray tracing kernels, Embree provides an example photo-realistic rendering engine. Embree is designed for Monte Carlo ray tracing algorithms, where the vast majority of rays are incoherent. The specific single-ray traversal kernels in Embree provide the best performance in this scenario and they are very easy to integrate into existing applications.

The results are beautiful I must admit, and a stab against GPU-accelerated raytracers like iRay.  However, they haven’t published any details on the time required for rendering other than to say “a perfect result in about a minute” on one particular model. You can get a few more details in this short video from the creators:

via Embree – Photo-Realistic Ray Tracing Kernels – Intel® Software Network – Intel® Software Network.