Keynote: Pat Hanrahan
Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Departments, Stanford University
Monday, September 14. 9:00am.
Chair: Sally A. McKee
Why are Graphics Systems so Fast?
Most programmers understand CPUs well, but have a limited
understanding of GPUs. GPUs are viewed as highly specialized,
fixed-function units optimized for rendering, but that view is
inaccurate. Instead, they are are best characterized as parallel
computers that combine multiple cores, many threads, and
wide vector processing units. GPUs simultaneously combine
all the major classes of parallel architectures in a single processor.
In this talk, I will describe the architectures of different GPUs built by
AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel (the new Larrabee processor),
highlighting different design decisions.
I will also discuss the programming models used to achieve high
performance on such heterogenous architectures, since it is
the innovative combination of processor design and programming model
that makes graphics systems run so fast.
Pat Hanrahan is the CANON Professor of Computer Science and Electrical
Engineering at Stanford University, where he teaches computer graphics.
His current research involves visualization, image synthesis, virtual
worlds, and graphics systems and architectures. Before joining Stanford
he was a faculty member at Princeton. He has also worked at Pixar, where
he developed volume rendering software and was the chief architect of the
RenderMan Interface -- a protocol that allows modeling programs to
describe scenes for high-quality rendering programs. Before Pixar,
he directed the 3D computer graphics group in the Computer Graphics
Laboratory at New York Institute of Technology. Professor Hanrahan has
received three university teaching awards. He has received two Academy
Awards for Science and Technology, the Spirit of America Creativity
Award, the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the SIGGRAPH
Stephen A. Coons Award, and the IEEE Visualization Career Award.
He was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering, to
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and as a Fellow of the ACM.
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