'Digital Media Professional'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2010.06.22 Reason Why DMP's 3D IP Core PICA200 is Powering Nintendo 3DS ?

1차 출처: http://journal.mycom.co.jp/articles/2010/06/22/pica200/index.html
2차 출처: http://www.ruliweb.com/ruliboard/read.htm?num=28106&table=game_nds&main=nds

Digital Media Professional announced that their 3D graphics IP core PICA200 is selected for Nintendo 3DS.

Advantage of PICA200 which Uses Non-programmable Shader Architecture ?

PICA200 is originally based on GPU core architecture named ULTRAY2000, and is kind of upgraded version of ULTRAY2000 to make it usable for portable devices.


Block Diagram of ULTRAY2000

PICA200 is basically OpenGL/ES1.1 based, which is in terms of PC architecture, equal to GPU that support Direct 6~7.

An extension is a function that is supported by Khronos group, who organizes specifications of OpenGL ES, as a seudo-standard.


PICA200 Evaluation Board

In addition to this, PICA200 provides DMP's unique extension functions.

They are differentiated in name of MAESTRO, in forms of library for realization of highly sophisticated graphics.

Unlike most of Modern GPUs, PICA200 didn't adopt programmable shader technology.

Instead, they compensate the missing power by enhancing the hardware based static shader effects.

At a glance, this may seem like going backwards.

Programmable shader gets degree of freedom to control various 3D graphics processes by software based, but this results in increment in number of required transisters in GPU to deal with complex software logics near CPU level, which increases power consumption and heat.

For general purpose 3D graphics, this approach is very effective, but might be superfluous when it comes down to restricted enviroments such as portable devices.

To deal with this kind of flexible requirements, there exists a room for a solution such as PICA200,

Nintendo 3DS, being basically a gaming device, requires various graphics representations.

Therefore, you can think as programmable shader architecture is more favorable in terms of developers.

But, Nintendo seems to conclude that they can achieve higher overall graphics capability by adjusting required functions for game graphics by making well optimized fixed functional shader hardwired.

For just a reference, Tegra 2 from NVIDIA, which was one of strong candidate for 3DS's GPU, is programmable shader architecture based, based on Geforce 7300 series core.

In addition to this, PICA200, being an IP core, specifications can be altered to meet requirements of the client, which in this sentence, for Nintendo 3DS.


Procudure Texture Generation Function of PICA200

In 2006, below functions were already adopted in MAESTRO-2G:
- an environmental mapping for shining effect
- vertex mapping for detailed volumetric effect
- soft shadowing
- procedure texture generation for synthesis of texture material

Furthermore, tesselation, which is finally adopted in DirectX 11, was already equipped in MAESTRO-2G, which means, besides it being a non-programmable shader architecture, we can expect fairly high graphics capability from GPU itself.


Soft Shadowing OFF/ON


Tesselation OFF


Tesselation ON

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