ACM - Computers in Entertainment

A game loop architecture for the GPU used as a math coprocessor in real-time applications

By Marcelo P. M. Zamith, Esteban W. G. Clua, Aura Conci, Anselmo Montenegro, Regina C. P. Leal-Toledo, Paulo A. Pagliosa, Luis Valente, Bruno Feij
SPECIAL ISSUE: Media Arts, [Vol. 6, No. 3]

DOI: 10.1145/1394021.1394035

This article concerns the use of a graphics processor unit (GPU) as a math co-processor in real-time applications in special games and physics simulations. To validate this approach, we present a new game loop architecture that employs GPUs for general-purpose computations (GPGPUs). A critical issue here is the process distribution between the CPU and the GPU. The architecture consists of a model for distribution, and our implementation offers many advantages in comparison to other approaches without the GPGPU stage. This architecture can be used either by a general-purpose language such as the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA), or shader languages such as the High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) and the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL).

Although the architecture proposed here aims at supporting mathematics and physics on the GPU, it is possible to adapt any kind of generic computation. This article discusses the model implementation in an open-source game engine and presents the results of using this platform.

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