AMD also briefly touched on its vision for real-time ray-tracing. To begin with, we can confirm that the "Navi 10" silicon has no fixed function hardware for ray-tracing such as the RT core or tensor cores found in NVIDIA "Turing" RTX GPUs. For now, AMD's implementation of DXR (DirectX Ray-tracing) for now relies entirely on programmable shaders. At launch the RX 5700 series won't be advertised to support DXR. AMD will instead release support through driver updates. The RDNA 2 architecture scheduled for 2020-21 will pack some fixed-function hardware for certain real-time ray-tracing effects. AMD sees a future in which real-time ray-tracing is handled on the cloud. The next frontier for cloud-computing is cloud-assist, where your machine can offload processing workloads to the cloud.
- "Next-Gen" RDNA coming 2020 or later will have ray-tracing hardware, presumably this is what Xbox Scarlett (and next-gen PlayStation) is using.
- The just announced 7nm RDNA 2019 (RX 5000 series) does not have this hardware capability.
- The wording "select lighting effects" makes Next Gen RDNA ray-tracing appear limited.
- Cloud will support full scene ray-tracing some time in the future...