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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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4

Mobile 3D Graphics

Advancements in very-large-scale integration (VLSI) technologies have enabled the integration of several system components on to a single chip, leading to so-called systems-on-a-chip. SoC technologies now allow high-speed low-power electronic devices to be manufactured in a compact size so as to eliminate slow and power-consuming off-chip communications between modules as well as area-consuming off-chip interconnections. As a consequence, mobile electronic devices such as smartphones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) have become major players in the consumer electronics market and their popularity increases every year.

However, mobile electronic devices have been hampered by their limited resources, such as small screen size, user input interfaces, computing capability, and battery lifetime. Thus their applications have also been restricted to relatively simple operations like text processing. Nevertheless, mobile electronic devices have evolved from being text-based into many kinds of multimedia applications such as MP3, H.264, and even to realtime 3D computer graphics. Figure 4.1 shows an example of a 3G system that consists of an RF frontend, a baseband modem, an application processor, and peripherals. The power consumption of each component in these types of system can be found elsewhere [1, 2].

Realization of 3D graphics is a challenging issue because the huge computing power and memory bandwidth inherently required for realtime processung has to ...

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