CMSC 435: Hardware Capabilities and Trends

David S. Ebert

September 2000

Current PC Boards

Game Console Example: Sony PS2 Features

  • 295 Mhz Emotion Engine, 6.2 GFlops, 128-bit processor

  • 147 Mhz Rasterizer

  • 25 million polys / second

  • 2 Vector processing units, 1 scalar processing unit

What does this mean for interactive photorealistic rendering?

  • Multi-texturing in realtime -> more complicated images

  • Textures applied to lights -> complicated light/shadow effects

  • Light and surface textures with dot products allow bump mapping

  • Smooth shading -- need dot product per pixel for phong or textured equivalent

  • 3D textures allow volumetric effect, such as light volumes, visualization, etc.

  • Dependent texture reads important to get complex effects

  • Procedural techniques - want as much flexibility as possible in combining texture results and per pixel processing

    • fragment programmability
    • fragment dot product
    • flexible register combiners and rich set of operations

  • Example Developments include Stanford's Real-Time Shading Language

  • PC Graphics Chips

    • Are they going to stay around - see editorial at Microdesign Resources

    • Hardware Graphics Basic Rendering Overview from Microdesign Resources

    • 3D Graphics Pipeline from Hardware point of View:

    • Nvidia's view of the Graphics Pipeline

    • Advantage of Shading example:

    • Advantages of having Texturing and Lighting on the GPU

      • Free up CPU for what?
      • Bandwidth, Load Balancing

    • Where/How are they calculating what

    • Why is their method faster/cheaper than on a CPU?
    • Light Maps and Vertex Lighting

      • Light Maps
      • Per-pixel rasterizer

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