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Intel Begins Work on Vulkan-Based Ray Tracing Driver for Xe HPG GPUs

Intel Xe HPG Slide
(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's Xe-based discrete graphics cards are promised to come next year, and one of the included features will be ray tracing support. According to a Phoronix report this week, Intel is currently working on ray tracing driver development for the Xe HPG discrete gaming graphics cards.

Jason Ekstrand, as the lead developer of the new Linux and Vulkan-based ray tracing driver, has already posted the initial code to get ray tracing functioning in Intel's Xe GPUs. At the moment, there isn't enough code in the driver to get ray tracing functioning properly. However, Intel has already approved some of his code, and more of it is on its way to getting approved. 

Intel will be using the latest Khronos ray tracing specification for its driver. Simply put, Khronos is responsible for creating open-source ray-tracing extensions for the Vulkan API and is constantly updating the API with more efficient, diverse and reliable ray-tracing solutions. The big advantage of using Khronos' extensions is that it's all open source, allowing more people to work on the project since they don't have to be associated with a specific company. Plus, it's generally cheaper. 

Intel plans to keep using Khronos' open-source ray tracing extensions as much as possible. However, they might look at implementing Nvidia's in-house extensions if they find more and more games using Nvidia compared to Khronos' open-source solution.

Intel plans to push hard in developing its ray-tracing driver and wants to have it finished before the Xe HPG graphics cards are ready for production in 2021 and being their battle for the title of best graphics cards

  • purple_dragon
    It's ironic that by the time RTX 3000 series and most likely RX 6000 series GPU's are readily available Intel's GPU release won't be that far off. Though I doubt Intel will be very competitive at least in the first round of product release.
    Reply
  • CrispySilicon
    I'm still pissed they abandoned the iGPU on my 5775C. DCH spec was put out by MS way back and they don't give a damn about "legacy" customers. Lets see how long they keep driver updates around for the 1st generation of these cards...
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    CrispySilicon said:
    I'm still pissed they abandoned the iGPU on my 5775C. DCH spec was put out by MS way back and they don't give a damn about "legacy" customers. Lets see how long they keep driver updates around for the 1st generation of these cards...

    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/89174/Intel-Iris-Pro-Graphics-6200
    Reply
  • CrispySilicon
    None of those are DCH drivers, so they won't work with the software Intel has been working on since then (see their fancy control panel including gaming profiles that requires DCH drivers).

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000031275/graphics.html
    "Microsoft is moving to a new Universal Drivers architecture starting with Windows® 10 October 2018 Update. This represents a shift in our Intel® Graphics Drivers. "

    2nd June, 2015, that was the release date on my 5775C. So glad Intel is on the ball! /s
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    CrispySilicon said:
    None of those are DCH drivers, so they won't work with the software Intel has been working on since then (see their fancy control panel including gaming profiles that requires DCH drivers).

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000031275/graphics.html
    "Microsoft is moving to a new Universal Drivers architecture starting with Windows® 10 October 2018 Update. This represents a shift in our Intel® Graphics Drivers. "

    2nd June, 2015, that was the release date on my 5775C. So glad Intel is on the ball! /s
    Why would you want game profiles for a 5 year old IGP?
    Reply