High-Performance Software Rasterization on GPUs

In this paper, we implement an efficient, completely software-based graphics pipeline on a GPU. Unlike previous approaches, we obey ordering constraints imposed by current graphics APIs, guarantee hole-free rasterization, and support multisample antialiasing. Our goal is to examine the performance implications of not exploiting the fixed-function graphics pipeline, and to discern which additional hardware support would benefit software-based graphics the most. We present significant improvements over previous work in terms of scalability, performance, and capabilities. Our pipeline is malleable and easy to extend, and we demonstrate that in a wide variety of test cases its performance is within a factor of 2–8x compared to the hardware graphics pipeline on a top of the line GPU. Our implementation is open sourced and available at http://code.google.com/p/cudaraster/.

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