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Title: Computer graphics hardware using ASICs, FPGAs and embedded logic.
Author: Stamoulis, Iakovos.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3477 1063
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2000
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The introduction of new technologies such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) with high gate counts and embedded memory Applications Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) gives greater scope to the design of computer graphics hardware. This thesis investigates the features of the current generation of FPGAs and complex programmable logic devices (CPLD) and assesses their suitability as replacements for ASIC technologies, and as prototyping tools for their verification prior to fabrication. The traditional methodologies and techniques used for digital systems are examined for application to FPGA devices and novel design flow and implementation techniques are proposed. The new methodology and design flow uses a contemporary top down approach using hardware description languages and combines the flexibility of those methods with the efficiency of detailed low level design techniques. As an example of this methodology, a set of floating point arithmetic units consisting of a adder/subtraction, multiplication and division were designed using novel alternative algorithms that significantly outperformed algorithms designed with traditional methods in terms of both size and performance.T hese techniquesu sed were used to form a ToolKit that can accelerateth e design of systems that use floating point units for computer graphics systems. This ToolKit, in combination with a precision investigation methods can be used to generate floating point arithmetic units that have the required precision with minimum required hardware resources. Another emerging technology is that of embedded memory. Recent advancements in semiconductor fabrication processes make it feasible to integrate large amounts of DRAM, SRAM and logic on a single silicon die. This thesis will show the changes in the design flow that are require to take advantage of this new technology. A new embedded logic ToolKit was created that facilitates the exploitation of this technology. Finally, as an example to this methodology, a novel processor oriented towards 3D graphics was designedA. n architecturale xploration driven by novel trace-drivenp erformancea nalysism ethods is detailed that was used to model and tune the processor for the execution of global illumination computer graphics algorithms. The adaptation of these algorithms for execution in our processor is demonstrateda nd the performancea dvantagesth at can be extracteda re shown
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gate arrays; Integrated circuits