Early visibility resolution for removing ineffectual computations in the graphics pipeline
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Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessRestricted access - publisher's policy
GPUs' main workload is real-time image rendering. These applications take a description of a (animated) scene and produce the corresponding image(s). An image is rendered by computing the colors of all its pixels. It is normal that multiple objects overlap at each pixel. Consequently, a significant amount of processing is devoted to objects that will not be visible in the final image, in spite of the widespread use of the Early Depth Test in modern GPUs, which attempts to discard computations related to occluded objects. Since animations are created by a sequence of similar images, visibility usually does not change much across consecutive frames. Based on this observation, we present Early Visibility Resolution (EVR), a mechanism that leverages the visibility information obtained in a frame to predict the visibility in the following one. Our proposal speculatively determines visibility much earlier in the pipeline than the Early Depth Test. We leverage this early visibility estimation to remove ineffectual computations at two different granularities: pixel-level and tile-level. Results show that such optimizations lead to 39% performance improvement and 43% energy savings for a set of commercial Android graphics applications running on stateof-the-art mobile GPUs.
CitationAnglada, M. [et al.]. Early visibility resolution for removing ineffectual computations in the graphics pipeline. A: International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture. "2019 IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA 2019): Washington, DC, USA: 16-20 February 2019". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019, p. 635-646.
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