Researchers use quantum computers to optimize ray-tracing workload by nearly 200 percent, but real-life applications remain distant
Researchers in an international study recently leveraged quantum computing techniques to optimize and speed up a conventional ray-tracing algorithm by a factor of 3. The researchers used a simple, 128 x 128 pixel 3D scene to compare a conventional ray-traced renderer to one that was accelerated with quantum computing algorithms. The quantum computing system optimized the scene by reducing the number of ray intersections from 64 per ray to 22.
"Accelerated" is somewhat of a relative term, however, in this case. The researchers used a relatively less-capable Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) device to do the quantum computations. This meant that the "optimized" approach took several hours to render.
Quantum computing isn't of immediate use to accelerate ray-tracing workloads in today's games. However, the researchers proved that quantum techniques could significantly optimize ray-tracing performance, at least once quantum computing matures and commercial products become viable. This opens the door to interesting future possibilities.
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