Toward Real-Time Fractal Image Compression Using Graphics Hardware

October 17th, 2005

This ISVC 2005 paper by Ugo Erra presents parallel fractal image compression using programmable graphics hardware. The main problem of fractal compression is the very high computing time needed to encode images. The implementation in this paper exploits the SIMD architecture and inherent parallelism of recent GPUs to speed up the baseline approach of fractal encoding. The results presented are achieved on inexpensive and widely available graphics boards. (Toward Real-Time Fractal Image Compression Using Graphics Hardware. Ugo Erra. In Proceedings of International Symposium on Visual Computing 2005)

ATI Annouces "X1K" Family of Graphics Processors

October 6th, 2005

Yesterday ATI announced its new line of GPUs, the X1K family. This family includes the flagship Radeon X1800 XT and XL GPUs (codenamed R520), the mid-range Radeon X1600 XT and Pro GPUs (code named RV530), and the mainstream Radeon X1300 and X1300 Pro GPUs (code named RV515). For a detailed overview, see the articles at ExtremeTech or Beyond3D. ATI has also announced preliminary plans to enable GPGPU development by publishing a detailed spec and a thin abstraction interface for programming the new GPUs.

Approximate Ray-Tracing on the GPU with Distance Impostors

October 6th, 2005

This paper presents a fast approximation method to obtain the point hit by a reflection or refraction ray. The calculation is based on the distance values stored in environment map texels. This approximation is used to localize environment mapped reflections and refractions; that is, to make them depend on where they occur. On the other hand, placing the eye into the light source, the method is also good to generate real-time caustics. Computing a map for each refractor surface, we can even evaluate multiple refractions without tracing rays. The method is fast and accurate if the scene consists of larger planar faces, when the results are similar to that of ray-tracing. On the other hand, the method suits very well to the GPU architecture, and can render ray-tracing and global illumination effects at a few hundred frames per second. The primary application area of the proposed method is the introduction of these effects in games. (Approximate Ray-Tracing on the GPU with Distance Impostors. Laszlo Szirmay-Kalos, Barnabas Aszodi, Istvan Lazanyi, and Matyas Premecz. Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology, Technical University of Budapest.)

Real-Time, GPU-Based Foreground-Background Segmentation

October 6th, 2005

Robust and accurate foreground-background segmentation is a relatively small but crucial step in several computer vision applications. It is a key element in surveillance, 3D-modelling from silhouettes, motion capture, or gesture analysis for human-computer interaction (HCI). For several of these, real-time processing is of main importance and thus should be extremely fast. This work by Andreas Griesser of ETH Zurich proposes a high-speed GPU-based implementation that processes image sequences in less than 4ms per frame and frees the CPU from this processing step altogether. Resulting segmentation exhibits compactness and smoothness in foreground areas as well as for inter-frame temporal contiguity. (Project homepage and software downloadAndreas Griesser, Computer Vision Lab, ETH Zuerich.)

An Implementation of a FIR Filter on a GPU

September 19th, 2005

Alexey Smirnov and Tzi-cker Chiueh from Stony Brook University have published a technical report describing an implementation of a FIR filter on a GPU. The results of the performance evaluation using a Geforce 6600 video card and a Pentium 4-HT 3.2 GHz-based PC indicate that the GPU implementation is better than the SSE-optimized CPU implementation for certain input parameters. (FIR on GPU project. Report: An Implementation of a FIR Filter on a GPU (warning: postscript). Technical Report, Experimental Computer Systems Lab, Stony Brook University, 2005.)

gDEBugger V2.0 Adds Performance Graph and Dashboard View

September 19th, 2005

gDEBugger, an OpenGL debugger and profiler, traces application activity on top of the OpenGL API, letting programmers see what is happening within the graphics system implementation to find bugs and optimize application performance. This major version includes two new profiling views: Performance Graph View and Performance Dashboard View. These two views contain performance counter graphs of gDEBugger, Windows and vendor-specific graphics boards (NVIDIA and 3Dlabs), including: CPU/GPU idle, graphics memory consumption, vertex and fragment processor utilization, number of API function calls per frame, amount of loaded textures and texels, frames per second, and many others. Using the gDEBugger Performance Analysis toolbar together with the new Performance views enables you to easily pinpoint graphics pipeline performance bottlenecks. (http://www.gremedy.com)

Oil Reservoir Simulation on GPUs

September 7th, 2005

Seismic Micro Technology presented GPU-based oil reservoir simulation in Madrid last month at the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference & Exhibition. The simulator was developed on dual NVIDIA GeForce GPUs using the Cg language. Grid block properties and transmissibilities are precomputed and stored in GPU textures. (“SMT thrashes Moore’s Law (July 2005)”, OilIT.com)

A Comparison of Acceleration Structures for GPU Assisted Ray Tracing

August 24th, 2005

Recently, ray tracing on consumer level graphics hardware has been introduced. So far, most published studies on this topic use the uniform grid spatial subdivision structure for reducing the number of ray/triangle intersection tests. For many types of scenes, a hierarchical acceleration structure is more appropriate. This thesis by Lars Ole Simonsen and Niels Thrane of University of Aarhus compares GPU based traversal of kd-trees and uniform grids with a novel bounding volume hierarchy traversal scheme. The three implementations are compared in terms of performance and usefulness on the GPU. The thesis concludes that on the GPU, the bounding volume hierarchy traversal technique is up to 9 times faster than its implementations of uniform grid and kd-tree. Additionally, this technique proves the simplest to implement and the most memory efficient. (Lars Ole’s Website or Direct link to thesis PDF.)

Accelerating Double-Precision FEM Simulations with GPUs

August 23rd, 2005

This paper by Dominik Göddeke, Robert Strzodka and Stefan Turek describes a preliminary algorithm to achieve double precision results by adding a CPU-based defect correction to iterative linear system solvers on the GPU. We demonstrate that identical accuracy as compared to a full CPU double precision solver is possible while still gaining a factor of 2 in speedup compared to a highly tuned cache-aware CPU reference implementation in double precision. (Accelerating Double Precision FEM Simulations with GPUs. Dominik Göddeke, Robert Strzodka and Stefan Turek. To appear in Proceedings of ASIM 2005 – 18th Symposium on Simulation Technique.)

“Hijacking the GPU”

August 23rd, 2005

This enthusiastic bit of reporting from APC Magazine provides a wild ride through the nascent field of GPGPU. (Hijacking the GPU, by Dan Warne. APC Magazine. August 11, 2005.)

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