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Scalable rendering on PC clusters

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4 Author(s)
Wylie, B. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., USA ; Pavlakos, C. ; Lewis, V. ; Moreland, K.

Sandia National Laboratories use PC clusters and commodity graphics cards to achieve higher rendering performance on extreme data sets. The main obstacle in using cluster-based graphics systems is the difficulty in realizing the full aggregate performance of all the individual graphics accelerators, particularly for very large data sets that exceed the capacity and performance characteristics of any one single node. Based on our efforts to achieve higher performance, we present results from a parallel sort-last implementation that the scalable rendering project at Sandia National Laboratories generated. Our sort-last library (libpglc) can be linked to an existing parallel application to achieve high rendering rates. We ran performance tests on a 64-node PC cluster populated with commodity graphics cards. Applications using libpglc have demonstrated rendering performance of 300 million polygons per second $approximately two orders of magnitude greater than the performance on an SGI Infinite Reality system for similar applications

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 4 )