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800 teraFLOPS real-time ray tracing system demonstrated

Posted on Wednesday, July 08 2009 @ 03:23:31 CEST by

A Japanese company named TOPS Systems has created a 800 teraFLOPS system capable of doing real-time ray traced rendering. The real-time ray tracing (RTRT) system features nine 73-core chips and is intended for the automotive design market.
A Japanese company has announced a massive, 800 teraflop real-time ray tracing (RTRT) system that gangs together nine, 73-core chips into a single system that fits inside a desktop computer form factor. The new chip, which is being jointly developed with Toyota and Unisys, is aimed at the auto industry, where designers will use it to prototype body designs and paint combinations.

As for how this system works, there are currently only two sources of information: a Japanese description on the website of the chip's maker, TOPS Systems Corporation, and a Nikkei article in English that's presumably a summary of the Japanese original. Given the paucity of information and the relative shallowness of my technical knowledge of ray tracing, I'll give my best shot at explaining this system and putting it in context, and I'll invite others to weigh in with more info in the comments thread.
More info at ARS Technica.



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