In this video, Jame McCombe (co-founder and CTO of Caustic Graphics) explains what is CausticRT and shows a CausticOne card. In short, CausticRT is a hardware+software solution to accelerate raytracing. The CausticOne is the hardware side of CausticRT and offloads all raytracing calculations from CPU/GPU. CausticGL is the software side of CausticRT and is a modified version of OpenGL ES 2.0 with a set of specific extensions that allow to cast rays within GLSL shaders.
The CausticOne is not the card for end-users. It’s a kind of experimental card to prove that the technology is not vaporware and to provide a point of reference for performance expectations. The CausticOne is powered by two 100MHz FPGAs (field programmable gate array). FPGAs are often used in the development stages of new hardware in order to emulate silicon before it is manufactured.
The CausticTwo is the card that will be offered for sale to end-users. It will use a custom designed ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) @ 350 MHz clock speed and should improve performance by a factor 14x over the CausticOne.
In the following video (and in the first too), Jame McCombe shows an interactive demo with 5 million polygons at around 3-5 FPS: