Over the past sixty or so years, myriad hardware designs have been developed to visually transfer information from computer to humans. Far more than CPU designs, graphics hardware has had dizzying variety in the problems being solved and the techniques involved. From oscilloscopes to vector displays to bitmaps, from graphics terminals to CPU integration, from 2-D to 3-D, from wireframe to programmable shading, more effective display has been a fast-moving target. This talk will touch on these themes and others, but will not delve deeply into the parallel evolution of graphics software.
As the opening talk of the SystemX Alliance winter quarter's seminars, a moment will be taken to introduce the seminar series as well.
Douglas Voorhies developed graphics hardware for nearly three decades at Prime Computer, Apollo Computer, Silicon Graphics, and Nvidia, and did CPU implementation and lots of software at four other companies. At Nvidia, he created the 3-D rasterizer and occlusion culling hardware used in GeForce chips (plus Xbox and PS3), as well as their initial software simulation infrastructure.