Research Project Re: Graphics Processor

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Hi,

I have recently started work on a research project concerned with
novel implementations of the CORDIC architecture to provide a
high-speed, low power processor capable of affine transforms
(translation, scaling, rotation, shearing) which will eventually be
implemented as an FPGA chip.

I am relatively new to the computer architecture field, and was hoping
that someone out there might be able to point me to some useful
resources on any of the following subjects:

   General introductions to ALUs
   Linear CORDIC implementations
   Current architectures with affine capabilities
   Principles of Low Power Architecture Design
   General Architecture design techniques
   Architecture Design using VHDL

I am mainly looking for somewhere to start off, as I do not have much
of an idea where to look at the moment...

Any help you might be able to give me would be most helpful and
greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance-
-Selwyn

Re: Research Project Re: Graphics Processor

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The last time I did something like this, I used normalised homogenous
coordinates to represent the points.  That way, all the affine
transformation matrices can be multiplied together into a (3x3 or 4x4)
matrix, and a single matrix multiplication is used to apply the
aggregate transformation to a point in 2D or 3D space.

I do not know if this is commonly used, however.


http://www.google.com/search?q=homogeneous+coordinate

Regards,
Allan

Re: Research Project Re: Graphics Processor
INMOS made a 2-D image processing chip.
I still have the databook (1989!).

Essentially it was a digital signal processor fully implemented in hardware,
as opposed to DSP chips that are just microprocessor architectures optimised
for DSP in software.

It looks like it could be implemented in today's FPGA chips relatively
easily.








Re: Research Project Re: Graphics Processor
What's the part number? I know about the G300 and its predecessors but
they were just a display controller (you could setup various
resolutions and color depths). If you are referring to the T4xx/T8xx
transputers they could be used as a display controller but it didn't
really contain any specialized instructions for displays or graphics.
The Intel i860 had instructions designed for computer graphics and
displays. SGI even used it in their Reality Engine and Reality Engine
2. It was later replaced in the Infinite Reality Engine with ASICs.

In the early 1980's NEC made the 7220 a graphic display processor
(GDP) capable of display 4096 x 4096 with as many colors as your video
DAC supported. It had functions for text, cursors and 2D operations.

In the late 1980's Intel came out with the 82786 Graphics Coprocessor.
I never worked with it so I can't comment on it.


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Re: Research Project Re: Graphics Processor

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Checking the databook:

A100: Cascadable signal processor
A110: Image and signal processing sub system
A121: 2-D discrete Cosine transform image processor
B009: DSP system evaluation board
D703: DSP development system

People might want to check out the videocore processor at
http://www.alphamosaic.com /
8 billion ops at 50 mW. I've seen it do real time video processing that used
to need a Quantel multi-transputer system costing tens of thousands. Now it
is in mobile phones at a few quid per chip...




Re: Research Project Re: Graphics Processor
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I wasn't really trying to compare them in sense that this device could
be used in place of that device. I was trying to show a time line of
evolution from a pretty simple device to a more complex. I remember
coming across the 6845 in devices that didn't require a high-end
device like video terminals and arcade games.

Derek

Re: Research Project Re: Graphics Processor
I'm also working on a similar project for my personal interest. I
found these website that might be of interest to you:

No source but very informative:
http://www.saarcor.de /

Not much going on with it at the moment. If I remember right they have
taken the project in a new direction.
http://icculus.org/manticore/links.php

This one is currently broken but it was an example of a graphics
pipeline and they included the source files. Hopefully it will be
fixed soon.
http://www.cs.unc.edu/~robbins/comp290-52/Project/index.html

It's in German but looks very impressive:
http://www.tu-harburg.de/ti6/lehre/soc/ws03/3dprojektkorr.html

If you find any interesting links I'd be interested hearing about
them.

Derek

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