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Mobile 3D Graphics SoC: From Algorithm to Chip by Byeong-Gyu Nam, Ju-Ho Sohn, Jeong-Ho Woo, Hoi-Jun Yoo

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1

Introduction

1.1 Mobile 3D Graphics

Mobile devices are leading the second revolution in the computer graphics arena, especially with regard to 3D graphics. The first revolution came with personal computers (PC), and computer graphics have been growing in sophistication since the 1960s. To begin with it was widely used for science and engineering simulations, special effects in movies, and so on, but it was implemented only on specialized graphics workstations. From the late 1980s, as PCs became more widely available, various applications were developed for them and computer graphics moved on to normal PCs – from specific-purpose to normal usage.

Three-dimensional graphics are desirable because they can generate realistic images, create great effects on games, and enable slick effects for user interfaces. So 3D graphics applications have been growing very quickly. Almost all games now use 3D graphics to generate images, and the latest operating systems – such as Windows 7 and OS X – use 3D graphics for attractive user interfaces. This strongly drives the development of 3D graphics hardware. The 3D graphics processing unit (GPU) has been evolving from a fixed-function unit to a massively powerful computing machine and it is becoming a common component of desktop and laptop computers.

A similar revolution is happening right now with mobile devices. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reports that 3.3 billion people – half the world's population – used mobile phones ...

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