Radeon Rays is ray intersection acceleration library for hardware and software multiplatforms using CPU and GPU
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yozhijk Merge pull request #189 from AvKhokhlov/reduction_primitivies
Added normalization, reduction and atomic premitieves
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Sample renderer has been moved from RadeonRays repo into a separate one here: Baikal


Radeon Rays is ray intersection acceleration library provided by AMD which makes the most of the hardware and allows for efficient ray queries. Three backends support a range of use cases.


Radeon Rays has three backends,

  • OpenCL
  • Vulkan
  • Embree

OpenCL uses GPUs and CPUs that support at least OpenCL 1.2 Vulkan supports GPUs with Vulkan 1.0 or greater Embree uses Intels Optimized CPU ray casting software for x86 and x64 devices

The source tree consist of the following subdirectories:

  • Radeon Rays: library binaries

  • App: Standalone sample/application featuring Radeon Rays OpenCL to implement a path tracer.


System requirements

The library is cross-platform and the following compilers are supported:

  • Visual Studio 2015

  • Xcode 4 and later

  • GCC 4.8 and later

  • CMake 3.8 and later

  • Python (for --embed_kernels option only)

  • Anvil for Vulkan backend only

  • Embree for Embree backend only

  • AMD OpenCL APP SDK 2.0+ is also required for the standalone app build.

Set up OpenCL

Set environmental variable. GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT = 100. This is necessary to allocate a large buffers.

Set up Vulkan

Anvil is set as a submodule and will be downloaded by using git submodule update --init --recursive from the command line. Some gui clients (github app for example) may do this automatically for you

Multiple Backends

You can either choose a particular backend (OpenCL, Vulkan or Embree) or compile any combination of them and pick at run-time. By default OpenCL only will be compiled in (see Options below to enable other backends). At runtime OpenCL devices will appear first, then Vulkan devices (if enabled) with the Embree device last (if enabled).

If the default behaviour is not what you want, an API call IntersectionApi::SetPlatform( backend ) takes a backend argument bitfield allows you to specify exactly which backends device will be enumurated.



  • Create Visual Studio 2015 Solution

cmake -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64"


  • Install Homebrew

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

  • Install OpenImageIO

brew install homebrew/science/openimageio

  • Make build folder and generate make files

mkdir build

cd build

cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=<Release or Debug> ..



on Ubuntu: install complimentary libraries:

sudo apt-get install g++

install build dependencies:

sudo apt-get install libopenimageio-dev libglew-dev freeglut3-dev

Also make sure you have the opencl-dev headers installed. Then create the Makefile:

mkdir build

cd build

cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=<Release ro Debug> ..



Available premake options:

  • RR_USE_EMBREE will enable the embree backend. Embree device will be the last one in IntersectionApi device list. example of usage : cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=<Release ro Debug> -DRR_USE_EMBREE=ON ..

  • RR_USE_OPENCL will enable the OpenCL backend. If no other option is provided, this is the default

  • RR_SHARED_CALC will build Calc (Compute Abstraction Layer) as a shared object. This means RadeonRays library does not directly depend on OpenCL and can be used on the systems where OpenCL is not available (with Embree backend).

Run unit tests

They need to be run from the /UnitTest path. CMake should be runned with the RR_SAFE_MATH option.

Hardware support

The library has been tested on the following hardware and OSes:


  • Ubuntu Linux 14.04
  • AMD FirePro driver 15.201: W9100, W8100, W9000, W7000, W7100, S9300x2, W5100
  • AMD Radeon driver 15.302: R9 Nano, R9 Fury X, R9 290
  • NVIDIA driver 352.79: GeForce GTX970, Titan X


  • Windows 7/8.1/10
  • AMD FirePro driver 15.201: W9100, W8100, W9000, W7000, W7100, S9300x2, W5100
  • AMD Radeon driver 16.4: R9 Nano, R9 Fury X, R9 290, Pro Duo
  • NVIDIA driver 364.72: GeForce GTX970, Titan X


  • OSX El Capitan 10.11.4
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013) AMD FirePro D500 x2
  • Macbook Pro Retina 13" (Early 2013) Intel HD 4300
  • Macbook 12" (Early 2015) Intel HD 5300

Known Issues


  • Currently the public Anvil has a bug that causes a crash on exit. Its already been fixed in an internal branch which will which will move to public when its cooked and ready. For now just comment out the free of the layout manager in Anvil::BasePipelineManager::Pipeline::release_vulkan_objects()




  • If <CL/cl.h> is missing try to specify OpenCL SDK location.
  • If your are experiencing problems creating your CL context with a default config chances are CL-GL interop is broken on your system, try running the sample app with -interop 0 command line option (expect performance drop).