“On-chip” lighting presented at SIGGRAPH Mobile 2013

On chip deferred lighting

On chip deferred lighting

Sam Martin from Geomerics gave at joint talk with ARM during the SIGGRAPH Mobile track this July. The talk, “Challenges with High Quality Mobile Graphics” [pdf], presented new ways to perform efficient dynamic lighting on tile-based GPUs. Using a development board and experimental driver extensions provided by ARM, Geomerics developed “on-chip” alternatives to the traditional but bandwidth-heavy deferred lighting rendering technique. We compared the performance and bandwidth utilisation of these new techniques against a regular off-chip deferred rendering using the recent MRT support in OpenGL ES 3.0, and a forward renderer. We find the bandwidth and power savings of on chip lighting are considerable, saving at least 1 GB/s in a conservative 720p resolution scenario, and much more at higher screen resolutions. We anticipate these techniques becoming available more widely inside the next year.

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