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A Low Cost Tile-based 3D Graphics Full Pipeline with Real-time Performance Monitoring Support for OpenGL ES in Consumer Electronics

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10 Author(s)

This paper presents a 3D graphics engine which is specifically designed to minimize the hardware cost while providing sufficient computing capability for consumer electronics with small to medium screen sizes (up to 800times600) such as digital television. The presented 3D engine consists of a fixed full 3D graphics pipeline for both geometry and rendering operation. This engine provides a standard AHB interface that makes it easily to be integrated into an AMBA-based SoC. The development of the 3D engine has gone through a rigorous design process: starting from system modeling (using System-C), RTL implementation, hardware/software co-simulation and FPGA verification to test chip fabrication. This 3D engine provides 3.3 M vertices/s and 278 Mpixels/s in maximum performance at 139 MHz using 0.18 silicon technology with 987 K gates that is sufficient for most applications for digital television. At the same time, a complete OpenGL-ES 1.1 API, windowing system, Linux operating system, device driver and a 3D performance monitoring tool have been developed for our 3D engine. This performance monitoring tool provides run-time performance information include frame rate, triangle rate, pixel rate, involved OpenGL function list, function counts, memory utilization and etc. Moreover, a built-in real-time AHB bus tracer is also provided to monitor the bus activities of the 3D engine and other components on the system bus. The bus tracer captures on-chip bus signals at ether cycle accurate or transaction levels and applies real-time compression to both levels of signals. With the performance monitoring tool and the bus tracer, the 3D application developer can easily analyze the communication of the components and fine tune the 3D application to optimize the entire SoC system performance and to satisfy performance/cost constrains on consumer electronics. Both of the hardware and software have been carefully verified and demonstrated on FPGA using ARM versatile SoC develop board- .

Published in:

Consumer Electronics, 2007. ISCE 2007. IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

20-23 June 2007

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