PowerVR OpenRL SDK

PowerVR OpenRL™ is a flexible low level API for accelerating ray tracing in both graphics and non-graphics (e.g., physics) applications. The OpenRL SDK provides the interface to develop software that will run on the PowerVR Ray Tracing platform. Similar to OpenGL for rasterization, the OpenRL library provides a framework for writing ray tracing applications that abstracts the specifics of the hardware running beneath it. The OpenRL SDK is provided with a free perpetual license for integration with either commercial or non-commercial applications.



OpenGL inspired programming model

This standards based API will already be familiar to OpenGL programmers. Many features of OpenGL systems are also present in the OpenRL SDK, including vertex buffer objects, frame buffer objects, vertex shaders, GLUT, etc.

Transparent acceleration structure

Acceleration structures are data structures used in ray tracing to facilitate fast ray-geometry intersection testing. In OpenRL, acceleration structures are built and maintained transparently, behind the scenes, and this eliminates the need for your application to write any code to create or traverse them. This also allows for hardware acceleration of the acceleration structure assembly. OpenRL can also leverage the acceleration structure built in previous frames, to optimize the system performance in subsequent frames.

Runtime compilation

OpenRL incorporates an optimizing compiler that compiles all shaders at runtime, producing low-level x86 machine code.  This means that your application can modify shaders while running, and seamlessly compile them for use in the next frame. This opens up many possibilities for interactivity, by bringing ray tracing into the earliest stages of 3D content creation.

Developer tools

OpenRL comes bundled with everything you need to make great ray traced applications. The stats plotter is a tool for monitoring the statistics of a live running application. This helps the developer better diagnose and optimize their application. The OpenRL profiler allows the developer to examine hot spots within a scene by allowing the ray tree for any pixel to be explored graphically in real-time.


Key Features in the OpenRL SDK 1.3

  • OS support for Windows
  • Supports Intel x86 processors, including AVX support for Intel Sandy Bridge
  • Optimizing runtime shader compiler build on LLVM
  • Best of class hierarchy builder designed with interactive application in mind
  • Stats plotter tool for monitoring the statistics of a live
running application
  • Profiler tool to examine hot spots within a scene graphically

Target markets include but are not limited to, Film, Video, Games, Transportation, Education, Consumer Products, Architecture, Engineering and Construction.

4SDK Downloads

OpenRL SDK 1.3 R2

OpenRL Runtime 1.3 R2

OpenRL SDK 1.3 R2