Nvidia (www.nvidia.com) is truly looking to revolutionize the computer graphics industry. At this year’s Siggraph show, which took place in Vancouver last week, Nvidia Founder and CEO Jensen Huang announced to a standing-room only crowd (more than 1,200 industry professionals) the “world’s first ray tracing GPU” with the introduction of the Nvidia Turing GPU architecture and the first Turing-based products — the Quadro RTX 8000, RTX 6000 and RTX 5000 GPUs.
Turing features new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tensor Cores for AI inferencing. Together for the first time, they make real-time ray tracing possible.
“This is the greatest leap in computer graphics since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006,” said Huang.
He continued that the two engines — along with a powerful compute for simulation and enhanced rasterization — are bringing in a new generation of hybrid rendering that addresses a “$250 billion visual effects industry.”
“Turing is Nvidia’s most important innovation in computer graphics in more than a decade,” said Huang. “Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences. The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry.”
The new Quadro RTX line brings hardware-accelerated ray tracing, AI, advanced shading and simulation to creative professionals. Also announced was the Quadro RTX Server, a reference architecture for highly configurable, on-demand rendering and virtual workstation solutions from the datacenter.
Quadro RTX GPUs are designed for demanding visual computing workloads, such as those used in film and video content creation; automotive and architectural design; and scientific visualization. They surpass the previous generation with groundbreaking technologies, including: New RT Cores to enable real-time ray tracing of objects and environments with physically accurate shadows, reflections, refractions and global illumination; Turing Tensor Cores accelerate deep neural network training and inference, which are critical to powering AI-enhanced rendering, products and services; new Turing Streaming Multiprocessor architecture features up to 4,608 CUDA cores and delivers up to 16 trillion floating point operations in parallel with 16 trillion integer operations per second to accelerate complex simulation of real-world physics; advanced programmable shading technologies to improve the performance of complex visual effects and graphics-intensive experiences; the first implementation of ultra-fast Samsung 16Gb GDDR6 memory to support more complex designs, massive architectural datasets, 8K movie content and more and new and enhanced technologies to improve performance of VR applications.
Quadro RTX Server
The Quadro RTX Server addresses on-demand rendering in the datacenter, enabling easy configuration of on-demand render nodes for batch and interactive rendering.
It combines Quadro RTX GPUs with new Quadro Infinity software (available in the first quarter of 2019) to deliver a powerful and flexible architecture to meet the demands of creative professionals. Quadro Infinity will enable multiple users to access a single GPU through virtual workstations, dramatically increasing the density of the datacenter. End-users can also easily provision render nodes and workstations based on their specific needs.
With content creation and render software pre-installed, the Quadro RTX Server provides a powerful and easy-to-deploy rendering solution that can scale from small installations to the largest data centers, at one quarter of the cost of CPU-only render farms.
Quadro RTX GPUs will be available starting in the fourth quarter on Nvidia.com, Quadro RTX 8000 with 48GB memory priced at $10,000 (ESP); Quadro RTX 6000 with 24GB memory priced at $6,300 (ESP) and Quadro RTX 5000 with 16GB memory priced at $2,300 (ESP).
Prior to introducing Turing and the Quadro RTX GPU line, Huang opened up his address with a look the computer graphics industry, Nvidia’s own history and some of the key milestones — all building up to the announcement of real-time ray tracing, helping to frame its significance.
“There’s no question in my mind,” stressed Huang, “that this is the single greatest leap in one generation. Computer graphics will never look the same again.”