Consumer Multimedia Architecture

Emerging consumer entertainment plaforms provide realtime digital media capabilities spanning graphics, video, and audio. Examples include 3D video game boxes, interactive television settop boxes, DVD players, and potentially entertainment web appliances. The very low cost points, component counts, memory sizes, and power budgets of such devices make achieving the immersive interactive light and sound experiences needed to sell this stuff pretty difficult. This informal talk will meander around data types and computational requirements, applications and algorithms, instruction set architectures, system and memory configurations, and whatever else comes to mind from my work of the last few years.

Tim Van Hook is a Principle Engineer at Silicon Graphics, where he is architect of the soon-to-be-released Nintendo64 home video game, and the Magic Carpet consumer media platform. His previous work includes the UltraSPARC visual instruction set and SPARCstation10-SX at Sun Microsystems, the TAAC-1 visualization accelerator as a cofounder of Trancept Systems, the RDS3000 at Ikonas, and the CVD-1 graphics system at a failed startup nobody ever heard of.