Nvidia buys real-time ray tracing company

— 2:54 PM on May 22, 2008

Last month, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang derided Intel's fascination with ray tracing for games, but he nonetheless expressed a belief that future games would use rasterization and ray tracing as complementary rendering methods. According to PC Perspective, Nvidia intends to concretize that view with the acquisition of ray-tracing software firm RayScale.

PC Per says RayScale, a start-up founded by University of Utah graduates, has developed a real-time renderer that mixes ray tracing and rasterization. To demonstrate RayScale's work, Nvidia showed a screenshot of a scene where ray tracing had been used to render reflections. Reportedly, the RayScale team has been focusing on features so far, but getting the renderer to work in real time should be "no problem."

Nvidia is no stranger to ray tracing, of course. The company owns mental images, the German start-up responsible for the mental ray ray-tracing rendering software. A number of feature films including The Matrix, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Hulk have tapped mental ray for their computer-generated imagery.

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