“Fast spheres, shadows, textures, transparencies, and imgage enhancements in pixel-planes” by Fuchs, Goldfeather, Hultquist, Spach, Austin, et al. …

  • ©Henry Fuchs, Jack Goldfeather, Jeff P. Hultquist, Susan Spach, John D. Austin, Frederick (Fred) P. Brooks Jr., John G. Eyles, and John Poulton

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    Fast spheres, shadows, textures, transparencies, and imgage enhancements in pixel-planes

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    Pixel-planes is a logic-enhanced memory system for raster graphics and imaging. Although each pixel-memory is enhanced with a one-bit ALU, the system’s real power comes from a tree of one-bit adders that can evaluate linear expressions Ax+By+C for every pixel (x,y) simultaneously, as fast as the ALUs and the memory circuits can accept the results. We and others have begun to develop a variety of algorithms that exploit this fast linear expression evaluation capability. In this paper we report some of those results. Illustrated in this paper is a sample image from a small working prototype of the Pixel-planes hardware and a variety of images from simulations of a full-scale system. Timing estimates indicate that 30,000 smooth shaded triangles can be generated per second, or 21,000 smooth-shaded and shadowed triangles can be generated per second, or over 25,000 shaded spheres can be generated per second. Image-enhancement by adaptive histogram equalization can be performed within 4 seconds on a 512×512 image.


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