The Future of Computer Graphics
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Mobile Graphics Company Imagination's PowerVR Rogue GPU

Mobile Graphics Company Imagination's PowerVR Rogue GPU | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it

When it comes to our coverage of SoCs, one aspect we’ve been trying to improve on for some time now is our coverage and understanding of the GPU portion of those SoCs. In the PC space we’re fortunate that there are just three major players – Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD – and that all three of them have over the years learned how to become very open and forthcoming about their GPU architectures. As a result we’ve had a level of access that has allowed us to better understand PC GPUs in a way that in earlier times simply wasn’t possible.

Albert Freeman's insight:

Mobile GPU architectures are approximately doubling in performance every two years (as opposed to the desktop gpu market which is doubling in performance every three years). Therefore as long as cooling requirements are met mobile GPUs could easily grow to met the performance of their desktop counterparts within a few years. Imagination supplies mobile GPUs to all mobile Apple devices (ipad, iphone, ipod touch).

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Mobile GPU gains Dedicated Raytracing Hardware Components

Mobile GPU gains Dedicated Raytracing Hardware Components | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it
Imagination Technologies has revealed plans for a new GPU with an integrated ray tracing unit. Are hybrid renderers and combined approaches the future of gaming?
Albert Freeman's insight:

Imagination has enhanced its upcoming graphics card with dedicated ray tracing hardware in an attempt to make hybrid ray tracing and rasterisation a reality in the mobile GPU market. Ray-tracing will increase in popularity as graphics cards and cpus increase in power, eventually ray-tracing or a similar advanced technique will completely replace rasterisation (as ray-tracing is incredibly demanding on hardware). Movies and graphics design have been using ray-tracing for decades however only now ray-tracing is being implemented in high end game engines (such as Cryengine) for certain effects (real time reflection).

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Direct3D to OpenGL Interface

Direct3D to OpenGL Interface | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it

With Valve's Source Engine originally just targeting Direct3D, when initially porting their games to Linux and OS X they relied upon a hand-made Direct3D to OpenGL translation layer. In potentially assisting other game developers, Valve Software has now opened up this graphics translation layer. 

Albert Freeman's insight:

Valve (the owner of the popular game distribution platform steam) has open sourced their Direct3D to OpenGL layer that enables graphics engines written in Direct3D to use OpenGL. This is to better support Linux and OSX in addition to encouraging developers to use OpenGL (an API that usually has features first as it can be changed easily with its extensions mechanism without consulting Microsoft).

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Caustics

Albert Freeman's insight:

Caustics are a phenomena that is not implemented well in any real time graphics engine to date. This paper investigates implementing them in image space (a state that occurs towards the end of the processing of a single frame in a graphics engine after the geometry has been processed, this means that the technique uses data provided in the geometry processing stages (normals etc) to efficiently implement a reasonably realistic effect on a 2D image (as opposed to 3D geometry processing)).

 

These effects in image space can have surprising accuracy even though they do not use any 3D calculations (for example ambient occlusion (e.g. SSAO,SSDO,HBAO) is a image space technique which  creates seemingly 3D effects that are similar to shadows to improve realism.

 

Other techniques such as mirages (on hot roads) and the colourful effects reflected from oil are also likely to increase in popularity in the next five years.

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Virtual Reality Headset for the PS4

Virtual Reality Headset for the PS4 | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it
Virtual reality just went mainstream. After the Oculus Rift prototype blew the doors off in 2012, it was only a matter of time until larger companies moved in on the concept of modern VR gaming. Sony just unveiled its plans to release a VR headset for the PS4, and this just might be the Oculus Rift's first real competition.
Albert Freeman's insight:

Sony is about to further popularise virtual reality headsets with its PS4 console (therefore taking market share from PCs).

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Facebook acquires Virtual Reality Headset Company

Facebook acquires Virtual Reality Headset Company | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it

Facebook's Zuckerberg announced that his company would be acquiring Oculus VR, the makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, for $2 billion.

Albert Freeman's insight:

Facebook has acquired the Oculus Rift virtual reality startup and plans to bring its benefits to gaming and general computing use.

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AMD GCN Graphics Card Architecture

Albert Freeman's insight:

AMD's latest desktop graphics card architecture, this brings AMD hardware closer to other companies in design and supports heterogeneous computing.

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Nvidia Tegra K1 - Desktop GPU reduced to Mobile Formfactor

Albert Freeman's insight:

The Nvidia Tegra K1 is a mobile GPU based on the Nvidia Geforce Kepler line of discrete graphics cards. It therefore retains all the API compatibility of a desktop GPU (OpenGL 4.4, DirectX 11.1) which increases competition between the mobile GPU vendors Imagination and Qualcomm (a corporation that supplies GPUs to most non-Apple high end smartphones such as the Google Nexus 5) by a large margin. 

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AMD’s Mantle: A Low-Level Graphics API

AMD’s Mantle: A Low-Level Graphics API | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it
Albert Freeman's insight:

Mantle is a graphics API recently developed by AMD as an alternative to Direct3D and OpenGL, it aims to enable graphics engine developers to interact with the graphics hardware at a lower level (more control over the hardware), this results in significantly increased performance (as it reduces the computation required by the graphics driver, enables the graphics engine developers to command the hardware more efficiently, opens up new features to the graphics developer (such as advanced MSAA (a form of anti analysing) and enables better utilisation of multiple graphics cards)).

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Microsoft Announces DirectX 12: Low Level Graphics Programming Comes To DirectX

Microsoft Announces DirectX 12: Low Level Graphics Programming Comes To DirectX | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it

The subject of low level graphics programming has become a very hot topic very quickly in the PC graphics industry. In the last 6 months we’ve gone from low level programming being a backburner subject, to being amajor public initiative for AMD, to now being a major initiative for the PC gaming industry as a whole through Direct3D 12. The sudden surge in interest and development isn’t a mistake – this is a subject that has been brewing for years – but it’s within the last couple of years that all of the pieces have finally come together.

But why are we seeing so much interest in low level graphics programming on the PC? The short answer is performance, and more specifically what can be gained from returning to it.

Albert Freeman's insight:

Microsoft duplicates the API design of Mantle for the upcoming Direct3D 12 in an attempt to improve graphics performance for old and new graphics cards, increase market share for their upcoming OS and to improve the performance of their mobile platforms (Windows Mobile and Windows RT).

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Octane Render - The Interactive Physically Based Render Engine

Octane Render - The Interactive Physically Based Render Engine | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it
Octane Render - The Interactive Physically Based Render Engine...

Via gzavye
Albert Freeman's insight:

Graphics Cards now support real time (or close to) blockbuster film grade rendering engines. CUDA is Nvidias implementation of GPGPU (that competes with OpenCL).

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Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift | The Future of Computer Graphics | Scoop.it
The virtual reality experience long promised in science fiction is finally becoming a reality with the Oculus Rift. Here are the facts.
Albert Freeman's insight:

A kickstarter funded project will bring virtual reality to the PC by early 2015. This has massive implications to the entire computing industry and especially computer graphics. It will put massive demand on both to bring new experiences to users.

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Heterogeneous Computing

Albert Freeman's insight:

AMD and many other corporations have banded together to form heterogeneous computing architectures. This eases development for graphics and GPGPU (general purpose computing on the graphics card) by enabling the address space of the CPU to be shared with the GPU (enabling pointers to be easily transferred between the two etc).

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Robotic Map Building with GPGPU

This paper provides a wide perspective of the potential applicability of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) computing power in robotics, specifically in the well known problem of 2D robotic mapping....


Via Mikael Bourges-Sevenier, Victorien Ferry
Albert Freeman's insight:

Graphics Hardware is becoming very popular for general high performance computing and is quickly being adopted for a wide range of uses including highly advanced AI/robotics, pattern recognition, cryptography and physics simulation.

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Victorien Ferry's curator insight, December 15, 2013 12:22 PM

Nowadays, Robotic technologies are doing more and more technological breakthroughs (by the way: google is buying robotics companies right now). General-Purpose GPU algorithms are, of course, not unconnected to this (robotics demand enormous computations, for image analysis, physic engine, database,...). One of the key problem is to change algorithms so computation can be parallelized.