Alongside the reveal of the company’s professionally-focused Quadro RTX GPUs, the first based on their new Turing architecture, the company showed off a real-time experience called Project Sol to demonstrate the ray-tracing capabilities of their new cards.
Running on a single Quadro RTX 6000 GPU, part of the company’s high-end professionally focused GPU lineup, Project Sol is said to be running in real-time at “cinematic framerates,” which appears to be 30FPS, at least based on the framerate of the captured video uploaded to YouTube.
Naturally, the demo focuses shiny surfaces, as ray-tracing is all about accurately simulating light, including reflections. Toward the end of the video you can see what appears to be a real-time reflection of the world in the suit’s visor, which accurately reflects the robot arms and the surrounding environment.
Real-time reflections are historically very expensive computationally, and so they are used infrequently in games, which instead rely on tricks like cube-mapped reflections, and apparently shiny surfaces that don’t actually reflect the light from the surrounding environment. Since ray-tracing is fundamentally built around simulating bouncing light, real-time reflections become much less expensive computationally, and can be used much more aggressively.
Update (August 20th, 2018): NVIDIA has announced their GeForce GTX cards, details here.