The stand-alone version of Mental Ray, a rendering component of Maya, has gotten a 64-bit upgrade in its latest iteration; Mental Ray 3.4. The new version is compatible with Maya 6.5, and promises faster processing times, physically accurate lighting, and improved rendering for more complex 3D scenes for games, film, broadcast, design visualization and digital publishing.
While a Windows XP version is planned, the package is currently only supported for Linux, and works with the following packages: Enterprise Linux WS 3 (x86_64) and SUSE 9.1 (x86_64), running on Intel EM64T, AMD Opteron, or AMD Athlon 64 processors. As a result of the new technology used, Mental Ray 3.4 is not compatible with pre-6.5 Maya iterations.
This is part of a larger plan by Mental Ray and Maya maker Alias, to bring Maya up to date with 64-bit processors as a whole. Kevin Tureski, director of engineering for Maya at Alias, describes it this way: "This is an important first step in our plans to deliver a new Maya-based product that taps the power of 64-bit hardware; an alpha version is currently being evaluated at several leading studios."