Caustic Graphics announced that their current product, which is a mix of software and hardware is presently 20x faster than a CPU and will be 200x faster a few years from now. That’s quite a number and you can imagine how excited people are right now. While some already imagine the next Crysis game, others wonder if that can topple Intel, NVIDIA and AMD. Not in the short term, for sure.
What makes us curious is how small the chip is on this mock-up board. If that image is accurate, it doesn’t look like they are using a massive chip like NVIDIA or Intel plan to. So our next best guess is that they do accelerate as specific piece of rendering that’s awfully painful to do on a CPU and difficult to do on a GPU (branching, data structures). Caustic says that it is using bandwidth and cache performance in a more efficient way than others.
The final mystery is that Caustic uses an API that sits on top of OpenGL ES, a version of OpenGL for Embedded Systems (and cellphones). The interesting part is that OpenGL was kind of created to handle rasterizers so, we’re very curious to see what this looks like from a developer’s point of view. Before you get excited: there is no “gaming” application planned at the moment… to be continued…