AMD FireRender – a new physically correct material and rendering technology for professional

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AMD is going after a slice of the professional design visualisation market with its new GPU-optimised FireRender plug-in. The physically correct material and rendering technology, designed to deliver interactive ray trace rendering functionality inside major design and manufacturing applications, is due to be released later this year.

AMD told DEVELOP3D that one of the stand-out features of FireRender is performance. The plug-in is optimised for AMD’s FirePro W-Series GPUs and can scale across one or more GPUs. However, as it is based on the open compute standard OpenCL, AMD says the plug-in will also run on many different types of processors.
AMD’s FireRender plug-in will first appear in Autodesk 3ds Max, thanks to an implementation by Render Legion s.r.o., developer of Corona Renderer. AMD says the FireRender plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max has successfully finished its initial integration and will be made available for public testing soon.

DEVELOP3D first broke the news of this new rendering technology last year at SIGGRAPH when AMD demoed a ray trace renderer for Autodesk Maya, so we presume a plug in for Autodesk Maya is in the pipeline. AMD did not confirm or deny this, but told DEVELOP3D that it is working on bringing the rendering plug-in to other applications in the design and manufacturing space.

AMD’s news comes at a time when its rival Nvidia has recently announced a whole new set of rendering plug-ins for its iray interactive renderer, which run on Nvidia CUDA GPUs.

With Nvidia iray soon to be made available in Revit, NX, Catia, SolidWorks Industrial Designer, Rhino, Cinema 4D and others, AMD certainly has some ground to catch-up in terms of application support. However, the success of both rendering technologies will also likely hinge on price/performance (of both software and hardware), visual quality and workflow, plus how they stack up against the many CPU-based rendering technologies already in the market.

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