Nvidia's Turing-powered Quadro GPUs are 'first' built for ray-tracing

Saul Franklin
August 17, 2018

According to Bob Pette, the Vice President of Professional Visualisation at NVIDIA, the new Quadro GTX graphics cars are the first commercially available cards with real-time ray tracing capability.

The NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000 bring hardware-accelerated ray tracing, AI, advanced shading and simulation to creative professionals.

"Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up wonderful possibilities that enhance our lives with more handsome designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences", Jensen Huang, CEO of NVIDIA, said in his SIGGRAPH address.

Graphics card titan Nvidia has revealed the next generation of their graphics architecture, codenamed Turing. "Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up unbelievable possibilities that enhance our lives with more handsome designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences".

Real-time ray-tracing of objects and environments with physically accurate shadows, reflections, refractions and global illumination.

At the core of the Turing architecture are what NVIDIA is referring these as two "engines"- one for accelerating Ray Tracing, and the other for accelerating AI Inferencing.

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Though perhaps best known for creating the GPUs that power high-end gaming PCs, these new units are professional-grade cards designed to handle intensive 3D-modelling and rendering workloads for users like graphic designers and 3D artists.

However, as exciting as it may sound, the new Turing-based Quadro RTX GPU will not be available to gamers.

Turing is the eighth generation of NVIDIA's GPU architecture, the release said. The Turing GPUs overhaul Nvidia's current model with some new tricks, including features added to the Volta GPUs for AI and data centers.

While reviews and benchmarks for Turing-based GPUs have not been published, Tibbils said he expects a "dramatic" upgrade in performance over Nvidia's previous line of Pascal GPUs. Friends, Turing looks ferocious-and it's brimming with portent about Nvidia's next-gen GeForce graphics cards. The Tensor Cores will provide speeds of up to 500 trillion tensor operations per second. It's scheduled for "early access" availability in the fourth quarter, with broader shipments to begin early next year. There's no reason to think that the more powerful cards in Nvidia's next-gen GeForce lineup, including the rumored RTX 2080 and RTX 2070, would skip GDDR6 memory.

The new Nvidia Turing GPU architecture uses machine learning, the company's latest RT Core processors and Tensor Cores to make real time ray tracing possible.

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