Microsoft announces DirectX 12 Ultimate, featuring DirectX Raytracing 1.1, new tech demo video

Microsoft has just announced DirectX 12 Ultimate; the culmination of the best graphics technology we’ve ever introduced in an unprecedented alignment between PC and Xbox Series X. Moreover, AMD has shared a new tech video, showing DirectX Raytracing 1.1. in action.

According to Microsoft, DirectX 12 Ultimate supports all the next generation graphics hardware features. These include DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback. Thus, DX12 will ensure stellar “future-proof” feature support for next generation games.

What’s also important to note is that DX12 Ultimate will not impact game compatibility with existing hardware which does not support the entire breath of DX12 Ultimate features. Therefore, next-generation games which use DX12 Ultimate features will continue to run on non-DX12 Ultimate hardware.

Regarding DirectX Raytracing, DXR 1.1 is an incremental addition over the top of DXR 1.0. Thus, below you can find its three major new capabilities.

DirectX Raytracing 1.1 Key Features
  • GPU Work Creation now allows Raytracing. This enables shaders on the GPU to invoke raytracing without an intervening round-trip back to the CPU. This ability is useful for adaptive raytracing scenarios like shader-based culling / sorting / classification / refinement. Basically, scenarios that prepare raytracing work on the GPU and then immediately spawn it.
  • Streaming engines can more efficiently load new raytracing shaders as needed when the player moves around the world and new objects become visible.
  • Inline raytracing is an alternative form of raytracing that gives developers the option to drive more of the raytracing process, as opposed to handling work scheduling entirely to the system (dynamic-shading). It is available in any shader stage, including compute shaders, pixel shaders etc. Both the dynamic-shading and inline forms of raytracing use the same opaque acceleration structures.

As we’ve already said, AMD has released a new tech demo video that you can find below. As the red team noted, it has collaborated with Microsoft on the design of DXR 1.1. This video is to give you a taste of the photorealistic realism DXR 1.1 will enable when using hardware-accelerated raytracing on our upcoming AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture.

Lastly, NVIDIA announced that its GeForce RTX GPUs are the first and only graphics cards that support these game-changing features.


AMD RDNA 2 Microsoft DirectX Raytracing (DXR) Demo

DirectX 12 Ultimate on GeForce RTX