2017, Viitanen, T., Koskela, M., Jääskeläinen, P., Immonen, K. and Takala, J., In Computer Graphics Forum, Volume 36 Issue 4, (Proceedings of the Eurographics Symposium on Rendering)
Abstract: There is recent interest in GPU architectures designed to accelerate ray tracing, especially on mobile systems with limited memory bandwidth. A promising recent approach is to store and traverse Bounding Volume Hierarchies (BVHs), used to accelerate ray tracing, in low arithmetic precision. However, so far there is no research on refitting or construction of such compressed BVHs, which is necessary for any scenes with dynamic content. We find that in a hardware-accelerated tree update, significant memory traffic and runtime savings are available from streaming, bottom-up compression. Novel algorithmic techniques of modulo encoding and treelet-based compression are proposed to reduce backtracking inherent in bottom-up compression. Together, these techniques reduce backtracking to a small fraction. Compared to a separate top-down compression pass, streaming bottom-up compression with the proposed optimizations saves on average 42% of memory accesses for LBVH construction and 56% for refitting of compressed BVHs, over 16 test scenes. In architectural simulation, the proposed streaming compression reduces LBVH runtime by 20% compared to a single-precision build, and 41% compared to a single-precision build followed by top-down compression. Since memory traffic dominates the energy cost of refitting and LBVH construction, energy consumption is expected to fall by a similar fraction.