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Fast BVH Construction on GPUs

C. Lauterbach, M. Garland, S. Sengupta, D. Luebke, D. Manocha
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Computer Graphics Forum, Vol. 28, No. 2., pp. 375-384, April 2009

@conference{lauterbach2009fast,

   title={Fast BVH construction on GPUs},

   author={Lauterbach, C. and Garland, M. and Sengupta, S. and Luebke, D. and Manocha, D.},

   booktitle={Computer Graphics Forum},

   volume={28},

   number={2},

   pages={375–384},

   issn={1467-8659},

   year={2009},

   organization={Wiley Online Library}

}

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We present two novel parallel algorithms for rapidly constructing bounding volume hierarchies on manycore GPUs. The first uses a linear ordering derived from spatial Morton codes to build hierarchies extremely quickly and with high parallel scalability. The second is a top-down approach that uses the surface area heuristic (SAH) to build hierarchies optimized for fast ray tracing. Both algorithms are combined into a hybrid algorithm that removes existing bottlenecks in the algorithm for GPU construction performance and scalability leading to significantly decreased build time. The resulting hierarchies are close in to optimized SAH hierarchies, but the construction process is substantially faster, leading to a significant net benefit when both construction and traversal cost are accounted for. Our preliminary results show that current GPU architectures can compete with CPU implementations of hierarchy construction running on multicore systems. In practice, we can construct hierarchies of models with up to several million triangles and use them for fast ray tracing or other applications.
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