We present a novel architecture for hardware-accelerated rendering of point primitives. Our pipeline implements a refined version of EWA splatting, a high quality method for antialiased rendering of point sampled representations. A central feature of our design is the seamless integration of the architecture into conventional, OpenGL-like graphics pipelines so as to complement triangle-based rendering. The specific properties of the EWA algorithm required a variety of novel design concepts including a ternary depth test and using an on-chip pipelined heap data structure for making the memory accesses of splat primitives more coherent. In addition, we developed a computationally stable evaluation scheme for perspectively corrected splats. We implemented our architecture both on reconfigurable FPGA boards and as an ASIC prototype, and we integrated it into an OpenGL-like software implementation. Our evaluation comprises a detailed performance analysis using scenes of varying complexity.
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