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Proceedings Paper

G2: the design and realization of an accelerator for volume visualization
Author(s): Louis T. S. Leung; Warren Synnott
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Paper Abstract

The trend in increasing volume and complexity of data to be examined in biomedical visualization indicates the need for hardware acceleration. This paper describes a hardware accelerator designed for visualization in biomedical applications. The general architectural approach taken was that of creating a low cost, general purpose supercomputer rather than that of producing acceleration by hardwiring certain functions. The result is an affordable, scalable, symmetric multiprocessor with 10 to 20 times the performance of today's state of the art deskside workstations. The design goals, major design decisions, and the resulting G2 architecture are discussed in this paper. The first major design decision discussed is the general architecture, leading to a conclusion of a symmetric multiprocessor with some characteristics of a distributed memory multiprocessor. The memory architecture chosen is that of a memory hierarchy, with the lower levels (levels closer to the processors) of the hierarchy operating independently, thus allowing for more aggregate bandwidth at lower levels. Many RISC, CISC, and DSP commercial offerings were considered for the processor, and the final one chosen is the next generation Motorola 88K RISC processor, the MC88110. The interconnection scheme between processors and memories was determined to be best implemented using a proprietary, synchronous, hierarchical bus with a bandwidth of 200 MBytes/s at the top of the hierarchy. The performance of the system in nine benchmarks are estimated and some of them verified with the prototype. At the time of submission of this paper, the other benchmarks are being verified.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1808, Visualization in Biomedical Computing '92, (22 September 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.131093
Show Author Affiliations
Louis T. S. Leung, ISG Technologies Inc. (Canada)
Warren Synnott, ISG Technologies Inc. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1808:
Visualization in Biomedical Computing '92

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