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Evolution of Graphics Architectures

Date and Time
Monday, November 5, 2001 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
Distinguished Lecture Series
Turner Whitted, from Microsoft Research
Thomas Funkhouser
Graphics processors are smaller, faster, and more full-featured today than even Moore's law predicts they should be. In spite of this dramatic increase in performance, the basic elements of graphics hardware have remained the same for over 30 years. Polygon transformation units coupled to texture mapping rasterizers have undergone substantial embellishment, but no fundamental structural changes in all this time. Recent advances in display algorithms and fundamental changes in graphics representation, most notably the popularity of image-based rendering, have sparked a re-examination of the functions of graphics hardware. This talk describes some initial attempts to re-invent the graphics display pipeline, to modernize it features, and to make its power available to a broader set of imaging operations. Bio: see http://www.research.microsoft.com/users/jtw
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