On the eve of the Big Navi launch, AMD has announced a new ray-traced technology demo, titled “Hanger 21” featuring cutting-edge visuals and the latest ray-tracing effects.
You can see the teaser above. Hanger 21 is expected to demo the capabilities of AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture as well the GPUs’ ray-tracing grit, featuring both ray-traced shadows as well as reflections. It’ll be interesting to see how the Radeon RX 6000 GPUs perform compared to their NVIDIA Ampere rivals in this benchmark.
AMD’s approach to ray-tracing has been different compared to NVIDIA’s. While the latter uses hardware (RTCores and Tensors) for everything from BVH traversal and intersections to upscaling and denoising, the former relies on a more complex solution, integrating both shaders as well as hardware acceleration units.
As we saw with the Xbox Series X architecture, the ray-accelerators will only be used for ray-box and ray-triangle intersections while the BVH traversal will fall to the shaders. Furthermore, the texture units and RA share the same resources, allowing only one to function per cycle. It’s unclear whether the same will hold for the RDNA 2 design, but it’s highly likely.
However, one primary difference between the two is the presence of the Infinity Cache on the Navi 21 and 22 parts. This should significantly improve the overall bandwidth and cache flushes compared to the Xbox Series X, while also allowing caching of bandwidth intensive BVH structures which often choke the memory subsystem on the RTX 20 series (Turing) GPUs.