SiliconArts Signs Development Agreement with Pixilica for RayCore GPU Core

Path Tracing GPU for RISC-V

Posted: By Jon Peddie 05.04.21

SiliconArts today announced a development agreement with Pixilica for its next-generation Monti Carlo RayCore graphics architecture, Pixilica is a RISC-V developer. The agreement provides for Pixilica to evaluate and potentially integrate SiliconArts’ real-time path tracing GPU into a RISC-V-based platform. SiliconArts RayCore is scalable and modular which enables integration on a wide variety of gaming platforms including cloud, desktop, mobile, console, and VR/AR.

Silicon Arts CEO Yoon Hyung-min said, "We will focus on establishing a strategic partnership with Pixilica, a leading company targeting the RISC-V graphics market." “SiliconArts' path tracing GPU supports high-quality 3D graphics required in the 5G era in real-time.” 

Path Tracing demonstrated (Source: Wikipedia)


Pixilica CEO Atif Zafar explained, “SiliconArts has perfected a very efficient architecture for path tracing that is sufficient to introduce path tracing to mobile devices, AR, VR, and other power-constrained devices. This is a perfect complement to our support of a broad community-led effort on a RISC-V-based GPU.  It will broaden advanced graphics processing capabilities in an open programming environment.”

Pixilica is a North American hardware company that is developing a variety of RISC-V-based IP cores for a variety of markets, from education to embedded systems and is also leading a community-based open-source RISC-V GPU ISA development effort.

SiliconArts’ says their path tracing architecture can be integrated into conventional shader GPU designs. It will upgrade their performance for path traced content while preserving legacy GPU support. It can be integrated into desktop and cloud-based ray and path tracing solutions as well as integrated GPU solutions.

The RayCore MC-Series offers over 300 million path tracing Rays/sec/mm2 with power dissipation as low as 5 million Rays/sec/mW in advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology.  When complemented by an optimized caching methodology, says the company, the core’s silicon compute efficiency reduces bus bandwidth and DDR transfers for constrained systems.

What do we think?

This development agreement is a sign the open-source RISC-V community is moving towards more advanced features. We believe ray tracing is becoming a requirement. It is now being included in most major game consoles and PCs today. It provides realistic graphic effects by tracing light to realistically express effects such as reflection, refraction, transmission, and shadow. In addition to providing physically accurate renditions, it has the added benefit of simplifying the amount of labor needed to create them. Ray and path tracing is recognized as the most attention-grabbing graphics rendering technology in the 5G era. Its utilization in various fields is expected to explosively increase.

RISC-V obviously needs it too. These are small start-up companies and getting the industry’s attention in such a noisy world may prove to be the bigger challenge.