Ray tracing, introduced by Dr. Turner Whitted in 1979, is a computer graphics technique which creates images by shooting and tracing rays. Ray tracing allows accurate rendering of objects by articulating natural lighting effects such as reflection, refraction, transmission, shadow and global lighting. The algorithm lets rays trace the path of light through pixels in an image plane and simulates the effects of its encounters with virtual objects. When a ray (primary ray) encounters a object surface, three new rays (reflection, refraction and shadow rays) are generated and the rays repeat for finding the intersection with objects.
This cutting-edged technique is especially powerful when rendering complex optical phenomenon. Producing cinema-quality 3D images is already becoming a mainstream trend of 3D computer graphics in software and cloud computing. The introduction of ray tracing hardwired GPU will bring such high quality graphics in real time to various media devices, an innovation that will take the visual computing world to the next level.