by Danny Shapiro

We’re wrapping up our coverage from SIGGRAPH 2010 in Los Angeles, where we’ve had an incredible time showing off some amazing demos of our new Quadro professional graphics solutions. But our wrap-up wouldn’t be complete without a look at some new capabilities that our Fermi-based Quadro line brings to the tools and application engines for developers.

Redesigning the GPU with the Fermi architecture has brought incredible performance increases to a wide range of applications, right out of the box. With our NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine, we’re seeing up to 4x performance boosts, depending on the ray tracing technique used to create photorealistic images. So designers and engineers benefit, as well as those who want ray tracing without rendering – for uses such as collision detection and acoustical analysis.

By the way, NVIDIA had a technical paper titled “OptiX: A General Purpose Ray Tracing Engine” which was accepted this year at SIGGRAPH. It's a big honor, so we wanted to give kudos to the OptiX team.

The new Quadro also lets you take advantage of our new GPU Tessellation Engine, as well as a new Bezier class for rendering super smooth models at all times. Here, the news is all about dynamic tessellation, which changes an object’s geometry on the fly while staying perfectly smooth. When an object is in the background of a scene, it can usually be shown without a lot of detail (e.g., triangles) and with the benefit of dynamic tessellation, the number of triangles that make up that object can grow as it increases in size and closeness to the virtual camera. The new Quadro series will enable massive amounts of geometry to be generated on the fly and in real-time. Developers can quickly take advantage of dynamic tessellation with our Cg shading language.

If you’re at the show today, stop by the NVIDIA booth (#717). You'll be able to see our demos that show what's possible when you combine the new Quadro professional graphics, hardware acceleration and our interactive ray tracing and rendering tools, such as iray from mental images. One of these demos is of an enormous dataset – an aircraft carrier with a full complement of planes rendered in real time – that you’ve got to see to believe.

Special thanks to our sponsors Dell, HP and Barco who are also showing some great workstation and display wall solutions. It’s computational visualization at its finest. Come check it out.