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Title: A novel parallel algorithm for surface editing and its FPGA implementation
Author: Liu, Yukun
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2013
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Surface modelling and editing is one of important subjects in computer graphics. Decades of research in computer graphics has been carried out on both low-level, hardware-related algorithms and high-level, abstract software. Success of computer graphics has been seen in many application areas, such as multimedia, visualisation, virtual reality and the Internet. However, the hardware realisation of OpenGL architecture based on FPGA (field programmable gate array) is beyond the scope of most of computer graphics researches. It is an uncultivated research area where the OpenGL pipeline, from hardware through the whole embedded system (ES) up to applications, is implemented in an FPGA chip. This research proposes a hybrid approach to investigating both software and hardware methods. It aims at bridging the gap between methods of software and hardware, and enhancing the overall performance for computer graphics. It consists of four parts, the construction of an FPGA-based ES, Mesa-OpenGL implementation for FPGA-based ESs, parallel processing, and a novel algorithm for surface modelling and editing. The FPGA-based ES is built up. In addition to the Nios II soft processor and DDR SDRAM memory, it consists of the LCD display device, frame buffers, video pipeline, and algorithm-specified module to support the graphics processing. Since there is no implementation of OpenGL ES available for FPGA-based ESs, a specific OpenGL implementation based on Mesa is carried out. Because of the limited FPGA resources, the implementation adopts the fixed-point arithmetic, which can offer faster computing and lower storage than the floating point arithmetic, and the accuracy satisfying the needs of 3D rendering. Moreover, the implementation includes Bézier-spline curve and surface algorithms to support surface modelling and editing. The pipelined parallelism and co-processors are used to accelerate graphics processing in this research. These two parallelism methods extend the traditional computation parallelism in fine-grained parallel tasks in the FPGA-base ESs. The novel algorithm for surface modelling and editing, called Progressive and Mixing Algorithm (PAMA), is proposed and implemented on FPGA-based ES’s. Compared with two main surface editing methods, subdivision and deformation, the PAMA can eliminate the large storage requirement and computing cost of intermediated processes. With four independent shape parameters, the PAMA can be used to model and edit freely the shape of an open or closed surface that keeps globally the zero-order geometric continuity. The PAMA can be applied independently not only FPGA-based ESs but also other platforms. With the parallel processing, small size, and low costs of computing, storage and power, the FPGA-based ES provides an effective hybrid solution to surface modelling and editing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G450 Multi-media Computing Science ; surface modelling ; computer graphics ; field programmable gate array ; FPGA ; OpenGL architecture ; surface editing