Pomegranate: A Fully Scalable Graphics Architecture
Homan Igehy, and
Appears in Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2000)
Pomegranate is a parallel hardware architecture for polygon rendering
that provides scalable input bandwidth, triangle rate, pixel rate,
texture memory and display bandwidth while maintaining an
immediate-mode interface. The basic unit of scalability is a single
graphics pipeline, and up to 64 such units may be combined.
Pomegranate's scalability is achieved with a novel
"sort-everywhere" architecture that distributes work in a
balanced fashion at every stage of the pipeline, keeping the amount of
work performed by each pipeline uniform as the system scales. Because
of the balanced distribution, a scalable network based on high-speed
point-to-point links can be used for communicating between the
Pomegranate uses the network to load balance triangle and fragment
work independently, to provide a shared texture memory and to provide
a scalable display system. The architecture provides one interface
per pipeline for issuing ordered, immediate-mode rendering commands
and supports a parallel API that allows multiprocessor applications to
exactly order drawing commands from each interface. A detailed
hardware simulation demonstrates performance on next-generation
workloads. Pomegranate operates at 87-99% parallel
efficiency with 64 pipelines, for a simulated performance of up to
1.10 billion triangles per second and 21.8 billion pixels per second.
Copyright Notice (from ACM):
Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for
personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are
not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies
bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for
components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored.
Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to
post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific
permission and/or a fee.