In 1999, Nvidia introduced the power of computer graphics to the world when it introduced the GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit. Since then, there has been no looking back as new standards in visual computing were set with interactive, breathtaking graphics. The devices ranged among not only workstations and laptops but also among portable media players and tablets, thus making supercomputing highly accessible and inexpensive. Taking technology to newer heights, Nvidia announced the new releases of its Application Acceleration Engines on July 27, 2010. These were based on the new NVIDIA Fermi architecture, and optimized for the latest GPUs of the company. The latest versions are NVIDIA SceniX(TM) 6, NVIDIA Cg Toolkit(TM) 3, and NVIDIA Optix(TM) 2.

Jeff Brown, GM, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA believes that the new engine releases have enabled groundbreaking applications to come to the market much faster than before. He also said that they have opened the door to a new generation of software which is a combination of high performance advanced visualization and simulation. SceniX 6, Cg Toolkit 3, Optix 2 technology and iray rendering solutions from mental images have offered new features and benefits to application developers which they can in turn offer to end users across a range of markets. These areas include medical imaging, architectural design, automotive styling as well as energy exploration.

Following are the benefits and features offered by the latest versions:

NVIDIA SceniX 6

It offers new Bazier Patch geometry class which uses Cg tessellation programs. This is for the smoothest of surfaces on NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs. For faster interactive ray tracing, it also offers Optix 2 support, thereby resulting in improved performance.

NVIDIA Cg Toolkit 3

Its new testellation programs allow displacement and procedural surfaces to adapt their testellation in real-time on the latest NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs. It also provides the DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4 level of programmability for portable effects.

NVIDIA OptiX 2:

It provides optimization of new NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs. It also delivers performance at least four times greater than the previous generation GPUs. It generates support for all NVIDIA CUDA(TM) architecture-capable NVIDIA GPUs on operating systems like Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. It also provides the benefit of direct 3D and fast interoperability in OpenGL and Direct3D.

Iray from mental images

It not only provides fully deterministic global illumination and physically correct rendering, but also helps in proper scaling between NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs on the same machine.

These new engine releases have generated a lot of positive feedback in the market. Dave Hutchinson, Product Director at Lightwork Design Limited feels that they have powered development processes and brought new and compelling Lightworks solutions. These application acceleration engines can now be downloaded immediately. Developers can easily obtain OptiX, SceniX and the Cg Toolkit engines without payment from any of the different websites which provide their information.