An anonymous reader writes "Imagination Technologies, the people who make the PowerVR line of mobile GPUs, have unveiled a new mobile gaming GPU ("Wizard") that does realtime ray tracing in hardware, at gaming frame rates. It has long been predicted that 3D games would eventually begin to employ true ray tracing to create computationally expensive visual effects like realistic reflections, refractions, shadows and lighting in realtime games. The PowerVR "Wizard" GPU is the first mobile GPU that can do just that in hardware. It remains to be seen how many commercial game engines, game development studios and mobile games will decide to make use of this new interesting new hardware capability. The question whether rival GPU manufacturers like Nvidia or AMD will also jump on the ray tracing bandwagon and put hardware ray tracing units in their future GPUs is also open at this point. If the hardware ray tracing trend catches on, however, and the hardware needed for it becomes mainstream, and more powerful in time, it could make for interesting virtual experiences like "true photoreal VR" when used in conjunction with a VR headset like the Oculus Rift for example."
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