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Real-time ray-tracing on the PlayStation 3! [update 1]

Nick Doerr

This is one of those moments where the hardware does the talking and not the software. The video above contains some real-time ray-tracing, where three PS3's "render a model that is 75x more complex then those used in today's games. Ray-tracing is the rendering technique used by the film industry and is considered to complex for today's game systems."

What's more impressive about the video is that the RSX graphics chip wasn't even touched -- the cell processor is creating all of what you see, even calculating where shadows should land given a certain style of lighting. If one Cell SPE (hmm... see the update) can create what you see there, with calculated light and shadows run in real-time, imagine what eight of them could do in addition to the RSX graphics chip. We really need someone to start making the PS3 game now so it can be done in eight years or so.

[Update: Apparently Linux limits the use of SPE's to a total of 6, so the three PS3's "duct-taped together" are utilizing 6 SPE's, not one as incorrectly gleaned initially!]

[Thanks Truespeed and Colin!]

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