Console Engine Design on the Example of the PlayStation 2 in Comparison to the PC

Manfred Satzer
Console Engine Design on the Example of the PlayStation 2 in Comparison to the PC

Information

Abstract

3D Graphics are an important part of a lot of software nowadays, ranging from games to medical or architectural visualization. Especially games drive the development of more and more powerful graphic cards and consoles. The graphics engine is the component of the software responsible for visual presentation. On consoles the hardware layout is di erent to that of a standard PC, thus making it interesting to adapt and optimize a rendering engine for a speci c hardware con guration. The multi-processor technology of the PlayStation 2 with its extensive parallelism is optimal to show the di erences between platforms with a rendering engine prototype. To get basic knowledge, an overview of the hardware along with design strategies is given. The main di erence to a PC engine is the non-existence of a graphics API like OpenGL or DirectX. Because of the xed hardware layout it is possible to design the engine to t perfectly to the available hardware and optimize it accordingly without any need for compatibility to di erent hardware settings. To get acceptable performance on the PlayStation 2, various bu ering schemes, as well as the use of the di erent available processing units are explained and incorporated in the engine design. The PlayStation 2 o ers parallelism in the rasterizer, which creates the need for synchronization. To achieve this, two di erent techniques are explained and a CPU-independent synchronization using the DMA controller is implemented. The main part of the thesis is the direct comparison between an engine design for the PlayStation 2 and the PC. This is especially shown on various small e ects, like motion blur or glow, implemented on the PlayStation 2, exploiting specialized features available only on this platform, and the PC. The engine prototype includes a toolchain for models and textures into a PlayStation 2 optimized format for fast usage. It uses the available Vector Units to shift processing load from the CPU to the other components and makes excessive usage of DMA transfer to get parallel upload of textures and other data. Various special e ects were implemented to help to point out the di erences between conventional PC hardware and the PlayStation 2. Summing up, this thesis proposes an engine design for the PlayStation 2 using various features of this hardware and comparing its possibilities with those of conventional PC hardware. The thesis is divided into a basic overview of the rendering steps and the hardware of the PlayStation 2. This is followed by a detailed layout of the design issues for the engine and a comparison to the PC.

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BibTeX

@mastersthesis{SATZER-2008,
  title =      "Console Engine Design on the Example of the PlayStation 2 in
               Comparison to the PC",
  author =     "Manfred Satzer",
  year =       "2008",
  abstract =   "3D Graphics are an important part of a lot of software
               nowadays, ranging from games to medical or architectural
               visualization. Especially games drive the development of
               more and more powerful graphic cards and consoles. The
               graphics engine is the component of the software responsible
               for visual presentation. On consoles the hardware layout is
               dierent to that of a standard PC, thus making it
               interesting to adapt and optimize a rendering engine for a
               specic hardware conguration. The multi-processor
               technology of the PlayStation 2 with its extensive
               parallelism is optimal to show the dierences between
               platforms with a rendering engine prototype. To get basic
               knowledge, an overview of the hardware along with design
               strategies is given. The main dierence to a PC engine is
               the non-existence of a graphics API like OpenGL or DirectX.
               Because of the xed hardware layout it is possible to design
               the engine to t perfectly to the available hardware and
               optimize it accordingly without any need for compatibility
               to dierent hardware settings. To get acceptable performance
               on the PlayStation 2, various buering schemes, as well as
               the use of the dierent available processing units are
               explained and incorporated in the engine design. The
               PlayStation 2 oers parallelism in the rasterizer, which
               creates the need for synchronization. To achieve this, two
               dierent techniques are explained and a CPU-independent
               synchronization using the DMA controller is implemented. The
               main part of the thesis is the direct comparison between an
               engine design for the PlayStation 2 and the PC. This is
               especially shown on various small eects, like motion blur
               or glow, implemented on the PlayStation 2, exploiting
               specialized features available only on this platform, and
               the PC. The engine prototype includes a toolchain for models
               and textures into a PlayStation 2 optimized format for fast
               usage. It uses the available Vector Units to shift
               processing load from the CPU to the other components and
               makes excessive usage of DMA transfer to get parallel upload
               of textures and other data. Various special eects were
               implemented to help to point out the dierences between
               conventional PC hardware and the PlayStation 2. Summing up,
               this thesis proposes an engine design for the PlayStation 2
               using various features of this hardware and comparing its
               possibilities with those of conventional PC hardware. The
               thesis is divided into a basic overview of the rendering
               steps and the hardware of the PlayStation 2. This is
               followed by a detailed layout of the design issues for the
               engine and a comparison to the PC.",
  month =      jun,
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/E193-02, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna
               University of Technology ",
  keywords =   "real-time rendering, game engines",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2008/SATZER-2008/",
}