Parallel volume rendering implementation on graphics cards using CUDA

Jens Fangerau, Susanne Kromker
Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing, Heidelberg University, Visualization and Numerical Geometry Group, Heidelberg, Germany
Facing the Multicore-Challenge, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 6310/2011, 143-153, 2011


   title={Parallel volume rendering implementation on graphics cards using CUDA},

   author={Fangerau, J. and Kr{\"o}mker, S.},

   journal={Facing the multicore-challenge},





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The ever-increasing amounts of volume data require high-end parallel visualization methods to process this data interactively. To meet the demands, progamming on graphics cards offers an effective and fast approach to compute volume rendering methods due to the parallel architecture of today’s graphics cards. In this paper, we introduce a volume ray casting method working in parallel which provides an interactive visualization. Since data can be processed independently, we managed to speed up the computation on the GPU by a peak factor of more than 400 compared to our sequential CPU version. The parallelization is realized by using the application programming interface CUDA.
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