GRAMPS: A Programming Model for Graphics Pipelines


Jeremy Sugerman
Kayvon Fatahalian
Solomon Boulos
Kurt Akeley
Pat Hanrahan


In ACM Transactions on Graphics January, 2009.




We introduce GRAMPS, a programming model that generalizes concepts from modern real-time graphics pipelines by exposing a model of execution containing both fixed-function and application-programmable processing stages that exchange data via queues. GRAMPS allows the number, type, and connectivity of these processing stages to be defined by software, permitting arbitrary processing pipelines or even processing graphs. Applications achieve high performance using GRAMPS by expressing advanced rendering algorithms as custom pipelines, then using the pipeline as a rendering engine. We describe the design of GRAMPS, then evaluate it by implementing three pipelines--Direct3D, a ray tracer, and a hybridization of the two--and running them on emulations of two different GRAMPS implementations: a traditional GPU-like architecture; and a CPU-like multi-core architecture. In our tests, our GRAMPS schedulers run our pipelines with 500 to 1500 KB of queue usage at their peaks.




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Posted 10/3/2008