OpenCL path tracer / ray tracing demo using the AMD OpenCL Beta SDK

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 18, 2009

SmallptGPU  is a small and simple Path Tracer demo written in OpenCL in order to test the performance of this new standard. Path tracing is essentially a form of ray tracing whereby each ray is recursively traced along a path until it reaches a light emitting source where the light contribution along the path is calculated. This recursive tracing helps for solving the lighting equation more accurately than conventional ray tracing (definition courtesy of Wikipedia).

SmallptGPU was originally written for Linux using the ATI OpenCL SDK beta4.  But there are now Windows 32 & 64 bit builds in this thread 4th post from top. Since it is OpenCL, the code should work on any platform/implementation.

The following video shows the demo running on a Radeon 4870. You see the progressive rendering raytracing technique in action. 
Keep in mind that a Radeon 5970 should be at least 4 times faster. Moreover an OpenCL renderer should scale across as many cards as you can cram onto a board.


How many cards and what kind were used to perform this demo? What kinds of development can we look forward to in the future?
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