Rendering elimination: early discard of redundant tiles in the graphics pipeline
Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessRestricted access - publisher's policy
GPUs are one of the most energy-consuming components for real-time rendering applications, since a large number of fragment shading computations and memory accesses are involved. Main memory bandwidth is especially taxing battery-operated devices such as smart-phones. TileBased Rendering GPUs divide the screen space into multiple tiles that are independently rendered in on-chip buffers, thus reducing memory bandwidth and energy consumption. We have observed that, in many animated graphics workloads, a large number of screen tiles have the same color across adjacent frames. In this paper, we propose Rendering Elimination (RE), a novel micro-architectural technique that accurately determines if a tile will be identical to the same tile in the preceding frame before rasterization by means of comparing signatures. Since RE identifies redundant tiles early in the graphics pipeline, it completely avoids the computation and memory accesses of the most power consuming stages of the pipeline, which substantially reduces the execution time and the energy consumption of the GPU. For widely used Android applications, we show that RE achieves an average speedup of 1.74x and energy reduction of 43% for the GPU/Memory system, surpassing by far the benefits of Transaction Elimination, a state-of-the-art memory bandwidth reduction technique available in some commercial Tile-Based Rendering GPUs.
CitationAnglada, M. [et al.]. Rendering elimination: early discard of redundant tiles 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. 623-634.