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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Out-of-core Data Management for Path Tracing on Hybrid Resources

  • Author(s): Budge, Brian C.
  • Bernardin, Tony
  • Stuart, Jeff A.
  • Sengupta, Shubhabrata
  • Joy, Ken
  • Owens, John D.
  • et al.

We present a software system that enables path-traced rendering of complex scenes. The system consists of two primary components: an application layer that implements the basic rendering algorithm, and an out-of-core scheduling and data-management layer designed to assist the application layer in exploiting hybrid computational resources (e.g., CPUs and GPUs) simultaneously. We describe the basic system architecture, discuss design decisions of the system's data-management layer, and outline an efficient implementation of a path tracer application, where GPUs perform functions such as ray tracing, shadow tracing, importance-driven light sampling, and surface shading. The use of GPUs speeds up the runtime of these components by factors ranging from two to twenty, resulting in a substantial overall increase in rendering speed. The path tracer scales well with respect to CPUs, GPUs and memory per node as well as scaling with the number of nodes. The result is a system that can render large complex scenes with strong performance and scalability.

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