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3D Graphics Search Engine:

The Geeks Of 3D

3D Pipeline Of SM3/DX9 GPUs

By Jerome 'JeGX' Guinot - jegx[NO-SPAM-THANKS]

Initial draft: November 24, 2006

[ Index ]

Introduction | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Conclusion

»Next Page

2 - 3d Pipeline of a GPU

After some research on the Net, I could build the following diagram:

GPU - Pipeline 3D

This diagram, purposely simplified, shows the significant parts of the 3d pipeline which are usually found on either hardware Websites or in the manufacturers's technical papers. The following page, regularly updated by its authors, shows different GPUs from ATI and nVidia as well as the principal characteristics of the following GPUs: number of vertex and pixel processing units, the number of ROPs as well as other useful information such as the operating frequencies of the GPU or the memories: GPU Database.

The 3d pipeline is made up of 2 large modules:

  • The geometrical module: this deals primarily with the 3d data processing, i.e. the vertices (plural of vertex: 3d corner).
  • The module of rasterisation: it deals with converting the 3d data into 2d data, calculating the final color, and the location of one pixel to the screen. It is by far the most complex module to date.

[ Index ]

Introduction | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Conclusion

»Next Page

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