A New Software Based GPU Framework

Evgeny Miretsky
University of Toronto
University of Toronto, 2013


   title={Software Based GPU Framework},

   author={Miretsky, Evgeny},



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A software based GPU design, where most of the 3D pipeline is executed in software on shaders, with minimal support from custom hardware blocks, provides three benefits, it: (1) simplifies the GPU design, (2) turns 3D graphics into a general purpose application, and (3) opens the door for applying compiler optimization to the whole 3D pipeline. In this thesis we design a framework and a full software stack to support further research in the field. LLVM IR is used as a flexible shader IR, and all fixed-function hardware blocks are translated into it. A sort-middle, tile-based, architecture is used for the 3D pipeline and trace-file based methodology is applied to make the system more modular. Further, we implement a GPU model and use it to perform an architectural exploration of the proposed software based GPU system design space.
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