Embree is a collection of high-performance ray tracing kernels, developed at Intel Labs. The kernels are optimized for photo-realistic rendering on the latest Intel processors with support for the SSE and AVX instruction sets. In addition to the ray tracing kernels, Embree provides an example photo-realistic rendering engine. Embree is designed for Monte Carlo ray tracing algorithms, where the vast majority of rays are incoherent. The specific single-ray traversal kernels in Embree provide the best performance in this scenario and they are very easy to integrate into existing applications.
This forum is intended for discussions on Embree and more generally on photo-realistic ray tracing on CPUs. If you want to report a bug or suggest an improvement, you may do so in this forum or you may write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isnt the GPU much faster at this kind of photorealistic ray tracing? Ive heard that iray (Nvidias photorealistic GPU rendering solution) is about 20x faster than a quad-core CPU. So why is Intel still bothering?
I assume you are referring to Nvidias comparison of a 3 year old CPU to a system with four of the latest high-end GPUs. Id recommend to make your own comparisons with one high-end CPU vs. one high-end GPU, rendering a complex production scene with tens of millions of triangles. You may also want to compare power consumption and programmability. When making such a comparison, most users and developers of rendering engines come to the same conclusion: Intel CPUs are the best choice for photo-realistic rendering. Have a look at this article and this video to see what industry experts say.