Flexible architecture methods for graphics processing
MetadataShow full item record
The FPGA GPU architecture proposed in this thesis was motivated by underserved markets for graphics processing that desire flexibility, long-term device availability, scalability, certifiability, and high reliability. These markets of industrial, medical, and avionics applications often are forced to rely on the latest GPUs that were actually designed for gaming PCs or handheld consumer devices. The architecture for the GPU in this thesis was crafted specifically for an FPGA and therefore takes advantage of its capabilities while also avoiding its limitations. Previous work did not specifically exploit the FPGA's structures and instead used FPGA implementations merely as an integration platform prior to proceeding on to a final ASIC design. The target of an FPGA for this architecture is also important because its flexibility and programmability allow the GPU's performance to be scaled or supplemented to fit unique application requirements. This tailoring of the architecture to specific requirements minimizes power consumption and device cost while still satisfying performance, certification, and device availability requirements. To demonstrate the feasibility of the flexible FPGA GPU architectural concepts, the architecture is applied to an avionics application and analyzed to confirm satisfactory results. The architecture is further validated through the development of extensions to support more comprehensive graphics processing applications. In addition, the breadth of this research is illustrated through its applicability to general-purpose computations and more specifically, scientific visualizations.