Nvidia have been busy at GTC, announcing their new Kepler based cloud service GRID, and outlaying their plans to saturate the supercomputer market. But that's not all they were up to. It turns out that Nvidia achieved quite an amazing feat of rendering, by performing real-time ray tracing whilst simultaneously simulating fluids.
If you're into computer graphics, ray tracing is the holy grail of lighting techniques. When used in combination with what's known as the rendering equation, ray tracing can produce photorealistic images such as the example below:
Lighting can make or break a game when shooting for visual brilliance. Crysis wouldn't have looked so good if the lighting was terrible, and more recently the awe-inspiring Thunder Run stage in Battlefield 3 owes much of its realism to the impressive lighting demonstrated.
Nvidia also amazed with their simulation of galaxies (an example of an n2 algorithm, where n is the number of bodies/stars being simulated) using CUDA based parallelism. At first they demo'ed a Fermi based galaxy simulation, which was impressive enough, but then swiftly progressed to the new Kepler GPU. The Kepler GPU simulated the interaction and eventual merging of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies 3.8 billion years into the future and on. It makes for an interesting video, if nothing else. It's a great example of pairing efficient algorithms and powerful hardware.
GPGPU (General Purpose GPU) computing certainly has us impressed, and we're super excited to see the day when ray tracing becomes viable for game engines. These videos are akin to peaking at presents days before Christmas as a kid - we can tell there's something good coming, but we've got to wait just that little bit longer to get our hands on it!
Via The Verge