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EEC277 – Graphics Architecture

3 units – Winter Quarter; alternate years

Lecture: 3 hours

Prerequisite: EEC 170 or ECS 154B; ECS 175

Grading: homework (30%), research/design project (60%), classroom participation (10%).

Catalog Description:

Design and analysis of the architecture of computer graphics systems. Topics include the graphics pipeline with a concentration on hardware techniques and algorithms, exploiting parallelism in graphics and case studies of noteworthy and modern graphs architectures.

Expanded Course Description:

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals and issues in the design and analysis of high-performance computer graphics systems.

The assigned homework and projects in this class will contain significant design elements (development of architectural changes and additions to the software and hardware components of a graphics system) together with the evaluation and analysis of these changes and additions in student projects and in studies of existing modern graphics systems. The course includes a large open-ended design project.

  1. Graphics Fundamentals
    1. Graphics workloads
    2. Performance analysis and characterization
  2. The Graphics Pipeline
    1. Geometry
    2. Rasterization
    3. Texturing
    4. Framebuffers and displays
  3. Parallelism and Communication
    1. Classification of parallel rendering
  4. Programmability in Graphics
  5. Case Studies
    1. Open Graphics Language
    2. RenderMan
    3. PixelFlow and PixelPlanes
    4. Silicon Graphics Inc. RealityEngine
    5. Pomegranate
    6. Chromium
  6. Project Presentations

Instructor: Owens

Course Overlap:

This graduate course concentrates on hardware algorithms and implementations for computer graphics. It requires knowledge of computer architecture at the level of EEC 170 or ECS 154B but does not cover any of this material. It also presumes some knowledge of the basics of the computer graphics pipeline. ECS175 covers the basics of the computer graphics pipeline, but as ECS 175 is not required for this course, the necessary knowledge from the ECS 175 is covered very quickly in a single lecture at the beginning of the course. In turn, ECS 175 covers the material in this course only at a very high and brief level, and more from a historical perspective as opposed to an emphasis in this course toward the methods used in today’s hardware.

Last revised: March 2004