Two-level hierarchical Z-buffer for 3D graphics hardware

Cheng Hsien Chen*, Chen-Yi Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Memory bandwidth is a bottleneck in current 3D graphics system. Traditional hidden surface removal Z-Buffer algorithm will result in memory bandwidth bottleneck in complex scenes. Its efficiency is low. Thus the hierarchical Z-Buffer, which is a reduced resolution of Z-Buffer, is proposed to remove hidden surface more efficiently. Here we present a two-level hierarchical Z-Buffer algorithm, which is suitable for 3D graphics hardware implementation. It is not application visible and can be integrated with the rendering pipelines smoothly. A bit-mask cache is added to solve the hierarchical Z-Buffer update problem. Performance under different hierarchical block sizes, bit-mask cache sizes and hierarchical Z-Buffer accuracy are analyzed. The simulation results show that the overall Z-Buffer access bandwidth can be reduced from 10 to 35 percent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002
Event2002 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: 26 May 200229 May 2002

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