TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Forward-looking: After it unveiled Radeon VII at CES last week, there was a war of words between AMD and Nvidia, though most of it originated from the green team. CEO Jensen Huang mocked his rival's lack of ray tracing, but AMD boss Lisa Su says the firm is working on the technology, adding that Nvidia incorporated it into the RTX 20xx series just for bragging rights while offering few practical benefits.
Back in November, AMD's Senior Vice President of Engineering, David Wang, said it would "definitely respond to [Microsoft's] DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR)." During a roundtable interview at CES, transcribed by PC World, Su confirmed AMD wasn't going to be left behind when it came to implementing the tech.
"I think ray tracing is important technology; it's something that we're working on as well, from both a hardware/software standpoint," she said.
When Nvidia announced its Turing-based RTX 20xx cards last year, there was a lot of focus on their real-time ray tracing capabilities, but there remains a dearth of games that take advantage of the tech, and it does bring a performance hit---though new drivers have improved this.
When asked about AMD's stance on ray tracing, Su appeared to take a subtle jab at Nvidia by saying that "technology for technology's sake is okay; technology done together with partners, and really getting the development community fully engaged, I think is really important."
"So you're going to see a lot more gaming discussions from us as we go through this year, and into the future, and that's kind of how we do it. We view it as a broad ecosystem; we don't focus on just the one technology."
Huang had called Radeon VII "underwhelming" and "lousy" at CES, adding "[There's] no ray tracing, no AI," to which Su responded with: "I would probably suggest that he hasn't seen it yet." But it seems AMD is working on cards that support real-time ray tracing, though we probably won't see them until a lot more games make use of the technology.