AMD RDNA2 has ray tracing and variable-rate shading

Posted on Friday, Dec 13 2019 @ 19:09 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Yesterday's Xbox Series X announcement from Microsoft sheds some light on what AMD will bring to the table with its next-generation RDNA architecture. The current Navi GPUs use a 7nm RDNA architecture and the company has named the successor RDNA 2 in its roadmaps.

We now know that at least some variants of the RDNA 2 based GPUs will feature ray tracing support. Additionally, we also learned the variable rate shading will be a feature of the architecture. Both of these features are already supported by NVIDIA's Turing architecture.
Variable-rate shading (VRS) is an API-level feature that lets GPUs conserve resources by shading certain areas of a scene at a lower rate than the other, without perceptible difference to the viewer. Microsoft developed two tiers of VRS for its DirectX 12 API, tier-1 is currently supported by NVIDIA "Turing" and Intel Gen11 architectures, while tier-2 is supported by "Turing." The current RDNA architecture doesn't support either tiers. Hardware-accelerated ray-tracing is the cornerstone of NVIDIA's "Turing" RTX 20-series graphics cards, and AMD is catching up to it. Microsoft already standardized it on the software-side with the DXR (DirectX Raytracing) API.
Via: TPU

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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