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Proceedings Paper

Volumetric visualization algorithm development for an FPGA-based custom computing machine
Author(s): Sami J. Sallinen; Jyrki Alakuijala; Hannu Helminen; Joakim Laitinen
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Paper Abstract

Rendering volumetric medical images is a burdensome computational task for contemporary computers due to the large size of the data sets. Custom designed reconfigurable hardware could considerably speed up volume visualization if an algorithm suitable for the platform is used. We present an algorithm and speedup techniques for visualizing volumetric medical CT and MR images with a custom-computing machine based on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). We also present simulated performance results of the proposed algorithm calculated with a software implementation running on a desktop PC. Our algorithm is capable of generating perspective projection renderings of single and multiple isosurfaces with transparency, simulated X-ray images, and Maximum Intensity Projections (MIP). Although more speedup techniques exist for parallel projection than for perspective projection, we have constrained ourselves to perspective viewing, because of its importance in the field of radiotherapy. The algorithm we have developed is based on ray casting, and the rendering is sped up by three different methods: shading speedup by gradient precalculation, a new generalized version of Ray-Acceleration by Distance Coding (RADC), and background ray elimination by speculative ray selection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3298, Visual Data Exploration and Analysis V, (14 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.309554
Show Author Affiliations
Sami J. Sallinen, Varian-Dosetek Oy (Finland)
Jyrki Alakuijala, Varian-Dosetek Oy (Finland)
Hannu Helminen, Varian-Dosetek Oy (Finland)
Joakim Laitinen, Varian-Dosetek Oy (Finland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3298:
Visual Data Exploration and Analysis V
Robert F. Erbacher; Alex Pang, Editor(s)

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