In this paper, a 3D display processor embedding a programmable 3D graphics rendering engine is proposed. The proposed processor combines a 3D graphics rendering engine and a 3D image synthesis engine to support both true realism and interactivity for the future multimedia applications. Using high coherence between 3D graphics data and 3D display inputs, both pipelines are merged by sharing buffers such that a 3D display engine directly uses the output of a 3D graphics rendering engine. The merged architecture has synergetic coupling effects such as freely providing various rendering effects to 3D images and easily computing disparities without complex extraction processes. In the 3D image synthesis engine, we adopt view interpolation algorithm and propose real-time synthesis method, pixel-by-pixel process. The view interpolation algorithm reduces the number of images to be rendered, resulting in the reduction of external memory size to 64.8% compared to conventional synthesis process. The proposed pixel-by-pixel process synthesizes 3D images at 36 fps through bandwidth reduction of 26.7% and decreases internal memory size to 64.2% compared to typical image-by-image process. The 3D graphics rendering engine is programmable and supports the instruction sets of the latest 3D graphics standard APIs, Pixel Shader 3.0 and OpenGL|ES 2.0. The die contains about 1.7 M transistors, occupies 5 mm times 5 mm in 0.18 mum CMOS and dissipates 379 mW at 1.85 V.