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1 Author(s)
N. England ; North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Graphics hardware is far faster, smaller, cheaper, and more capable than 20 years ago, and it will obviously continue on that path. Memory and processor advances have let us move texture mapping and surface occlusion from software to hardware. We'll no doubt move more sophisticated modeling, lighting and imaging operations into future hardware. Chip I/O rates will continue to advance more slowly than transistor count and, as a result, graphics processors and memory will become ever more highly integrated. Putting memory and processor on the same chip will encourage massive parallelism, because on-chip bandwidth is staggering compared to that between chips. Integrating CPU and graphics is more a business issue than a technical one; game consoles represent one area where tight integration is mandatory. A more interesting question for looking 20 years into the future might be: what will be new? What fundamentally new capabilities can we predict as a result of hardware advances? What fundamentally new capabilities would we like to have but can't predict how, or if, we can achieve them? Advances in image generation hardware haven't fundamentally changed what an individual can actually do in an application; in contrast, some graphics hardware advances have created fundamental changes. We already have a start on some promising graphics hardware technologies that may enable fundamental changes in what we do in graphics over the next 20 years

Published in:

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )