Imagination launches PowerVR™ Brazil™ SDK for ray traced rendering

High-level rendering toolkit for photorealistic real-time and interactive visualization

COFES, Scottsdale, AZ, 13 April, 2012: Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia technologies company, brings photorealistic rendering a giant leap forward with today’s launch of the PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 ray traced rendering toolkit. Developed from the ground up to fully utilize Imagination’s PowerVR OpenRL™ API SDK, the Brazil SDK v1.0 enables 3D graphics software developers to easily add high-level ray tracing functionality to their applications.

The Brazil SDK v1.0 facilitates interactive photorealistic visualization or final-frame rendering, and eliminates the need to create similar technology from scratch or port to multiple independent hardware platforms.

Imagination’s Caustic Professional group is developing a new family of high performance ray tracing solutions, based on new PowerVR ray tracing graphics technologies from Imagination, targeted at 3D graphics software developers in markets such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC), film, and games.

Tony King-Smith, VP marketing at Imagination Technologies says: “The PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 is a notable milestone in our plans for bringing high performance ray tracing capabilities to a broader range of markets from desktop to, ultimately, mobile and embedded. Our new OpenRL-based PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 delivers a comprehensive set of tools and capabilities, incorporating significant functionality inherited from the highly respected Brazil final frame renderer originally developed by Splutterfish. Since Caustic and Splutterfish engineers are both now fully integrated into our PowerVR visual IP engineering teams, we’re delighted to release this next product from our emerging ray tracing technology portfolio, which complements our existing PowerVR OpenRL API SDK.”

The Brazil SDK v1.0 enables the addition of high-level ray tracing functionality to applications accelerated by the growing range of OpenRL renderers being developed by Imagination, including both software (running on x86 and x86-64 CPUs) and future hardware accelerated platforms. The Brazil SDK v1.0 has already being utilized to create plug-ins for the industry's most popular visual effects and design packages, including Autodesk® Maya®, Autodesk 3ds Max®, and Robert McNeel and Associates’ Rhinoceros®. 

The advantage of a fully interactive ray traced viewport over viewing scenes in a rasterized viewport (the traditional approach used by most CAD systems today) is the high degree of visual fidelity, which extends to lighting, reflections, shadows, etc. at the earliest stages of modeling and lighting a scene. This can substantially simplify the process and cost of content creation.

Bob McNeel at Robert McNeel and Associates says: “The PowerVR Brazil SDK has enabled us to create a fully ray traced viewport plug-in that may be integrated into a future release of Rhino. It is now available for Rhino customers to download for testing and evaluation in the Rhino labs tools.” (See:

Key features in the Brazil SDK v1.0 include:

  • Full Customization: Provides complete flexibility to customize almost any part of the Brazil SDK v1.0’s rendering components to match application-specific needs.
  • Programmable Shaders and Materials: While many systems support only a fixed set of shaders, the Brazil SDK v1.0 supports fully programmable shaders and materials. This results in the production of stunning, realistic images with flexible effects.
  • Physically Correct or Flexible Rendering: While many rendering systems only support one type of rendering, either biased or unbiased, the Brazil SDK v1.0 can be used to enable both physically correct and biased rendering.
  • Dynamic Geometry: OpenRL’s lightning fast geometry pipeline provides interactivity that has never been seen before in a ray traced rendering engine, including the ability to rapidly model at the vertex level.
  • Platform Independence: The Brazil SDK v1.0 fully leverages Imagination Technologies’ OpenRL for real-time, interactive high-quality visualization. OpenRL is the only ray tracing API that is device independent and able to leverage multiple compute devices simultaneously, with high performance across multiple target platforms.

The Brazil SDK v1.0 is now available to qualified developers. To apply for the program, visit to register for a copy or contact Email Contact for more details.

Editor’s Notes

PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0

The Brazil SDK v1.0 is a high-level rendering toolkit that can incorporate photorealistic visualization technology into to a wide range of 3D graphics applications. It is a completely new implementation, designed from the ground up to leverage OpenRL for real-time interactivity on a portable platform.

PowerVR OpenRL

OpenRL™ (Open Ray Tracing Library) is a flexible low-level API for accelerating ray tracing in both graphics and non-graphics (e.g., physics) applications that is platform independent, available today as a free SDK that includes a software implementation running on x86 devices. It is being integrated by a rapidly growing number of developers in rendering applications for a wide range of markets, including digital content creation, film and video, games, architecture, and industrial design. See:

This cross-OS, cross-platform API is the only ray tracing API that supports multiple graphics devices with optimal performance and from a wide range of vendors. Like OpenGL, OpenRL hides the complexities of interfacing with different graphics devices by presenting a single, uniform interface. A free perpetual license of OpenRL is available for integration into commercial or non-commercial applications. 

About PowerVR Ray Tracing Technology

PowerVR ray tracing technology is changing how interactive cinema-quality graphics will be produced, used, and enjoyed. The technology uses a unique, patented approach that fundamentally changes the performance and cost metrics for production-quality ray traced images without cutting corners for quality or functionality. This ray tracing technology will be integrated with future generations of Imagination’s PowerVR GPU IP cores, delivering a price/performance level that is set to change the world’s perception of the cost and accessibility of real-time, cinematic-quality ray tracing.


COFES is the engineering software industry's only annual think tank event which brings executives from design, engineering, architectural, development and technology companies together to understand the role engineering technology will play in the future survival and success of business. For more information, visit

About Caustic Professional

Caustic Professional is part of Imagination Technologies, a global leader in multimedia and communications technologies. Based in San Francisco, Caustic Professional is changing how interactive cinema-quality 3D graphics are produced, used, and enjoyed.

Caustic Professional’s solutions, based on Imagination's PowerVR OpenRL API and PowerVR ray tracing technologies, use a unique, patented approach that fundamentally changes the performance and cost metrics for production quality ray traced images and animated content without cutting corners for quality or functionality. Thanks to the cross-platform features of PowerVR OpenRL, future generations of Caustic Professional's products will migrate seamlessly from workstations to future generations of mobile and embedded platforms utilizing Imagination's future PowerVR GPU IP cores incorporating Imagination’s innovative ray tracing technologies.

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies – creates and licenses market-leading multimedia IP cores for graphics, video, and display processing, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP cores and multi-standard communications and connectivity processors. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by platform level IP and services, a strong array of software tools and drivers and extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics. Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: .

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