New PS5 Patent Potentially Points to “Accelerated” Ray Tracing with Performance Improvements

A new patent filed by PS5 architect Mark Cerny could suggest that Sony is looking into ways to further optimize the implementation of ray-tracing on the console.

Posted By | On 27th, Feb. 2022

ps5

Real-time hardware-based ray tracing was a PC-exclusive thing for the longest time, but with the introduction of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in late 2020, the technology was introduced into the console space as well- and it seems we might be about to see even further improvements on that front soon.

As spotted by Twitter user @Onion00048, Sony recently filed a patent, authored by PS5’s lead architect Mark Cerny, that mentions a “system and method for accelerated ray tracing”, with “asynchronous operation and ray transformation” being brought up as well.

While ray tracing has been included in several PS5 games up until now, it usually comes at the cost of frame rate being cut down (with some notable exceptions), though this new patent mentions a “processing strategy may result in a significant improvement of ray tracing speed, as the shader program is only performing hit testing”.

As is always the case with patents, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that Sony has concrete or immediate plans in this area- this may very well be another case of a company wanting to protect its ideas and technology.

It does, however, give us an idea of the fact that Sony is indeed looking into ways to improve the implementation of ray tracing in PS5 games, and how they might be looking to go about doing the same. Whether or not something comes of this in the near future remains to be seen- but it’s certainly something worth keeping an eye on.


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