AMD Hardware Ray-Tracing Hopes To Be Ready For Blender 3.5

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 21 September 2022 at 04:39 AM EDT. 4 Comments
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While Blender 3.2 introduced AMD HIP on Linux support for GPU acceleration and the recent Blender 3.3 extended the AMD GPU Cycles acceleration back to GFX9/Vega GPUs, for those wanting AMD ray-tracing support within Blender it's not expected to come until Blender 3.5.

NVIDIA has long provided an OptiX back-end for Cycles that makes use of the RT cores on modern NVIDIA GPUs as an alternative to their CUDA back-end. The OptiX ray-tracing support within Blender has worked out very well and faster render times for modern NVIDIA GPUs. We've been eager to see AMD's similar ray-tracing support for upstream Blender but it's not coming with the next release (v3.4) but now confirmed to be targeting Blender 3.5.

Yesterday's render and cycles meeting for Blender confirmed that on the AMD HIP side, "Hardware ray-tracing aimed for Blender 3.5."

Also from yesterday's Blender meeting, there is a known AMD HIP performance regression around matrix inverse changes that is being investigated. Intel also continues making improvements to its oneAPI back-end, which debuted as part of Blender 3.3 for use with Arc Graphics discrete GPUs.

Blender 3.4 is currently in its feature/changes "bcon1" stage while next week will move onto bcon2 for improving and stabilizing the code-base before reaching the bug-fixing only stage at the end of October. The hope is to officially release Blender 3.4 as stable in early December. The Blender 3.5 schedule isn't yet finalized but should be out roughly around the end of Q1'2023. Hopefully AMD's ray-tracing support for Blender will indeed pan out by then for both Windows and Linux.
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