Blender 3.3 Debuts With Intel Arc Support, Brings oneAPI & SYCL GPU Acceleration

Blender 3.3 Debuts Intel Arc Support With oneAPI & SYCL GPU Acceleration

Blender 3.3, the open-source 3D modeling software, updates today and introduces Intel oneAPI and SYCL GPU acceleration support. The new update benefits Intel and the company's Arc Graphics dGPUs as the components will now be able to utilize a boosted Cycles back-end on Intel's new discrete graphics.

Intel creates additional oneAPI GPU acceleration support for components utilizing Blender

AMD and NVIDIA are already utilizing Blender for their HIP and CUDA GPU acceleration, respectively, so Intel now including support places the company into a similar category as its rivals.

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The release notes for Blender 3.3 note that:

Going forward we can expect more great things from Intel’s Blender community collaborations. Development is underway to add Intel® Embree Ray Tracing GPU hardware acceleration support and Intel® Open Image Denoise AI GPU acceleration in Cycles for Intel GPUs.

Besides Intel, AMD also sees some updates in Blender 3.3, including:

  • Cycles: enable Vega GPU/APU support
  • Enables Vega and Vega II GPUs as well as Vega APU, using changes in HIP code
    to support 64-bit waves and a new HIP SDK version.
  • Tested with Radeon WX9100, Radeon VII GPUs, and Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U with Radeon
    Graphics APU

Referencing Apple's updates, the Metal GPU rendering on the company's Silicon acquired enhancements for memory access locality and intersection kernels.

Lastly, other changes made to Blender 3.3 include:

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  • OpenVDB volumes are default rendered with half float instead of complete float precision. The rendering significantly reduces memory usage. The Volume data block renders settings have a new setting to choose half float, total float, or variable precision encoding.
  • A new Filmic sRGB colorspace was added for images. The Filmic sRGB colorspace may use this for compositing background plates into a render that uses a Filmic view transform without changing the look of the background plate. Using Filmic sRGB will convert 0..1 range colors into HDR colors in the scene linear color space.
  • The camera depth of field now supports armature bones as the target.
  • Blender improved OptiX denoiser update performance when rendering with multiple GPUs.

Intel has already offered Open Image Denoise integration in Blender. The company's Open Image Denoise is an open-source collection of high-performance, high-quality denoising filters for ray-traced rendered images. Intel has also offered Embree, a selection of high-performance ray tracing kernels to aid graphics application engineers in improving the performance of their photorealistic rendering software.

According to Michael Larabel of Phoronix, Intel heavily used the integration of Open Image Denoise and Embree for CPU-based paths. It appears that Intel is doing its part to utilize Blender's capabilities in the next several years.

News Sources: Phoronix, oneAPI

Products mentioned in this post

Radeon VII
USD 1,163
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