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Teaching graphics processing and architecture using a hardware prototyping approach

Michael Steffen, Phillip Jones, Joseph Zambreno
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Systems Education (MSE), 2011

@inproceedings{steffen2011teaching,

   title={Teaching graphics processing and architecture using a hardware prototyping approach},

   author={Steffen, M. and Jones, P. and Zambreno, J.},

   booktitle={Microelectronic Systems Education (MSE), 2011 IEEE International Conference on},

   pages={13–16},

   year={2011},

   organization={IEEE}

}

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Since its introduction over two decades ago, graphics hardware has continued to evolve to improve rendering performance and increase programmability. While most undergraduate courses in computer graphics focus on rendering algorithms and programming APIs, we have recently created an undergraduate senior elective course that focuses on graphics processing and architecture, with a strong emphasis on laboratory work targeting hardware prototyping of the 3D rendering pipeline. In this paper, we present the overall course layout and FPGA-based laboratory infrastructure, that by the end of the semester enables students to implement an OpenGL-compliant graphics processor. To our knowledge, this class is the first that takes a hardware prototyping approach to teaching computer graphics and architecture.
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