A software development kit for achieving high performance ray tracing on the GPU.

Image courtesy Tom Grammerstorf

The OptiX API is an application framework for achieving optimal ray tracing performance on the GPU. It provides a simple, recursive, and flexible pipeline for accelerating ray tracing algorithms. Bring the power of NVIDIA GPUs to your ray tracing applications with programmable intersection, ray generation, and shading.

From film and games to design and scientific visualization, OptiX has been successfully deployed in a broad swatch of commercial applications. These applications include commercial renderers such as NVIDIA Iray, mental ray, and FurryBall from AAA Studio as well as in-house applications ranging from scientific visualization (including Gordon Bell Award finalists), to defense applications, audio synthesis, and computing lightmaps for games.

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Key Features

  • Support for NVIDIA Pascal architecture GPUs.
  • The very latest techniques for exceptional GPU ray tracing performance.
  • Client-server rendering, and outstanding scaling using Quadro VCA or DGX-1.
  • Elegant single-ray shader programming model using CUDA C++.
Learn more about OptiX technology
Operating System Windows, Linux and Mac OS

NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro and Tesla products with Kepler, Maxwell and Pascal generation GPUs.

Recent NVIDIA Display Driver

Development Environment C/C++ Compiler and Recent CUDA Toolkit


New Features:

  • AI-accelerated Denoiser
  • Motion Blur
  • Faster startup times

Learn More:

AI-Accelerated Denoiser

NVIDIA rendering partners can add AI-accelerated denoising to their renderers using the SDK.

In the video below, the right side has AI-accelerated denoising turned on.

Coming Soon...

Free for Commercial-Use

OptiX is now free for use within any application. The use and distribution of OptiX commercially is now available royalty-free. Please refer to our standard SDK end-user license agreement for further details.

Image courtesy Lee Henshall


Application Support

OptiX supports both the NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputer as well as the NVIDIA Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) for tremendous scaling of ray tracing workloads.



Using NVLink, OptiX combines memory from multiple GPUs into a single usable pool for ray tracing scenes up to 64GB on DGX-1.


Image courtesy Bluemotion srl

Rapid Development

OptiX provides a familiar, recursive, and single-ray programming model for rapid development of your ray tracing applications. Concentrate on your algorithms and OptiX makes them blazingly fast.


Hardware Compatibility

OptiX runs on all Kepler architecture and newer NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro, and Tesla GPUs


OptiX in Action


NVIDIA Iray employs OptiX technology for optimal performance in both its path tracing and ray tracing render modes. Iray is a state of the art, yet easy to use, photorealistic rendering solution provided as an SDK for seamless integration into custom tools and within industry-leading products from the likes of Dassault Systemes and Siemens PLM.

Learn more about Iray

Pixar’s Flow Material Editing Tool

Pixar Animation Studio's new material editing tool "Flow" enables their artists to interactively edit rich, complex shading networks. Flow provides live real-time feedback with full, multi-bounce progressive ray tracing using OptiX.

Watch SIGGRAPH talk on OptiX integration in Flow

Pixar Flow material editing tool. Image courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios

Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD)

Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) is a molecular visualization program for displaying, animating, and analyzing large biomolecular systems using 3-D graphics and built-in scripting. VMD’s preferred rendering mode for both viewport and final render is OptiX, with full VCA support available. The OptiX path renders the highest visual quality and even has a frame rate five times higher than OpenGL on massive datasets.

Click here or the image to watch the video

Image courtesy of VMD, Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

AAA Studios FurryBall

AAA Studios FurryBall is a production-quality, final-frame GPU renderer with advanced rendering techniques. It works as a plugin for Maya and 3ds Max with network rendering and multi-GPU support. FurryBall RT uses NVIDIA OptiX™ for its physically based, full global illumination renderer that is used both in the interactive viewport and for final frame rendering.

Learn more about FurryBall

Image courtesy of AAA Studios.

Developer Forums

Our forum community is where Developers can ask questions, share experiences and participate in discussions with NVIDIA and other experts in the field.

Check out available forums here.


OptiX Advanced Samples

This is a set of advanced samples for the NVIDIA OptiX Ray Tracing Engine. They assume some previous experience with OptiX and physically based rendering, unlike the basic tutorial-style samples in the SDK directory of the OptiX 4.0 distribution. They also use some different libraries than the SDK samples; GLFW and imgui in place of GLUT, for example. This means you cannot generally copy one of the advanced samples directly into the SDK, and vice versa.

Get Advanced Samples