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Since the early days of 3D, traditional rendering has been performed using rasterisation with objects built up using a mesh of triangles and are then 'shaded' to create their on-screen look. Ray tracing is different. It mimics how light works in the real world, where photons are emitted from a light source and bounce around the scene until they reach the eye of the viewer. As the light interacts with objects it is blocked, reflected, or refracted by the objects along the way, depending on their material properties, creating shadows and altering each object looks.

More efficient implementations of ray tracing reverse this process by sending out rays from the viewer (the screen) into the scene, onto objects and from there to the light source(s). This realistic, and more elegant approach to lighting scenes helps delivers 3D graphics with far greater realism, aiding games and visual applications, while simplifying the process for content developers.


Various ray tracing techniques have been used for many years to create incredibly realistic lighting effects in movies, advertising and interior design, but those techniques were far too computationally intensive to be used in real-time applications. Our architecture, containing patented specialist hardware blocks, enables either faster full ray tracing, or an efficient hybrid rendering approach that combines traditional rasterisation techniques together with ray tracing. Through this, Imagination has created a solution that offers an optimal balance between image quality and performance.

Our patented ray tracing architecture draws on our long history of delivering leading-edge technology in a highly power efficient manner, making it ideal for a wide range of use cases.Developers can access our ray tracing technology through open standards using extensions to OpenGL ES™ and Vulkan®, rather than the closed standards of competitors.


Mobile, Gaming, Automotive, Visualisation

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