“Virtual graphics” by Voorhies, Kirk and Lathrop

  • ©Douglas(Doug) Voorhies, David Kirk, and Olin Lathrop




    Virtual graphics



    Graphics can be implemented as a virtual system resource. This abstraction appears to each application on a multiprocessing workstation as a dedicated rendering and display pipeline. A variety of simple mechanisms support the simultaneous display of different types of images and eliminate the need for low-level device driver software. They permit applications to embed graphics instructions directly in their code. The abstraction allows for cleaner software design, higher performance, and effective concurrent use of the display by several applications.


    1. Asal, M., Short, G., Preston, T., Simpson, R., Roskell, D., and Guttag, K., “The Texas Instruments 34010 Graphics System Processor”, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 6, No. 10, October 1986, pp. 24-39
    2. Barton, R. S., “A New Approach to Functional Design of a Digital Computer”, Proc. AFIPS Western Joint Comp. Conf., 1961, Vol. 19, pp. 393-396.
    3. Buzen, J. P. and Gagliardi, U. O., “The Evolution of Virtual Machine Architecture”, Proc. of AFIPS, NCC 1973
    4. Cohen, E. S., Smith, E. T., and Iverson, L. A., “Constraint-based Tiled Windows”, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 6, No. 5, May 1986, pp. 35-45.
    5. England, N., “A Graphics System Architecture for Interactive Application-Specific Display Functions”, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1986, pp. 60-70.
    6. Foley, J. and van Dam, A., Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1982
    7. Guttag, K., Van Aken, J., and Asal, M., “Requirements for a VLSI Graphics Processor”, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1986, pp. 32-47.
    8. Ilgen, S. and Scherson, I. D., “Real Time Virtual Window Management for Bit Mapped Raster Graphics”, Proc. 5th International Conf. on Computer Graphics in Japan, Springer-Verlag, Tokyo, 1987, pp. 145-158.
    9. Kiiburn, T., Edwards, D. B. G., Lanigan, M. J., and Sumner, F. H., “One-level Storage System”, IRE Trans. on Electronic Computers, Vol EC-11, No. 2, pp. 223-235.
    10. Lantz, K. A., Tanner, P. P., Binding, C., Huang, K., and Dwelly, A., “Reference Models, Window Systems, and Concurrency”, Computer Graphics, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 1987, pp. 87-97.
    11. Meyer, R. A. and Seawright, L. H., “A Virtual Machine Timesharing System”, IBM Sys. Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3, 1970
    12. Newman, W. M. and Sproull, R. F., Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1979, pp. 262-265.
    13. Pinkham, R., Novak, M., and Guttag, K., “Video RAM Excels at Fast Graphics”, Electronic Design, Vol. 31, No. 17, Aug. 18, 1983, pp. 161-182
    14. Scheifler, R. W. and Gettys, J., “The X-Window System”, ACM Trans. on Graphics, Vol. 5, No. 2, April 1986, pp. 79-109
    15. Shires, G., “A New VLSI Graphics Coprocessor – The Intel 82786”, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Vol. 6, No. 10, October 1986, pp. 49-55.
    16. Sproull, R. F. and Sutherland, I. E., “A Clipping Divider”, Fall Joint Computer Conf. 1968, Thompson Books, Wash. D.C., pp. 765-775.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: