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RealityEngine: Image Processing

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RealityEngine graphics supercomputers are designed to provide users with a multi-purpose computer platform that can meet and exceed their image processing needs.

RealityEngine has key advantages over any other computer system. In addition to the renowned 3D graphics ability of the IRIS computer family, RealityEngine brings interactive image processing together with fast geometric rendering for scientific and technical users who require the ultimate in high-resolution imaging.


Fastest image processing available on any platform

RealityEngine graphics supercomputers offer the performance of special-purpose, dedicated image processing hardware, in a general purpose, commercial off-the-shelf package. RealityEngine is designed as part of the computer sys-tem, rather than an add-on component. This provides the fastest image processing capability together with the fastest image and compute throughput.

ImageVision Library Toolkit

Software developers can take advantage of the image processing capabilities of RealityEngine with ImageVision Library (IL). IL is an object-oriented extensible library for creating, processing and displaying images. RealityEngine has special hardware-acceleration for IL operators, making it the optimum platform for image processing, while retaining full IL compatibility with other Silicon Graphics systems.

IL provides an easy-to-use interface allowing image operations, such as convolutions and histogram transformations, to take advantage of the power of the geometry engines. ImageVision Library takes advantage of the texturing capability of RealityEngine to provide interactive rotation, continuous zoom, and warping. By using RealityEngine to perform the computations, IL provides for image processing performance that surpasses dedicated high-end image processors.

Accelerated ImageVision Library Operations

Texturing - Perspective generation and warping

RealityEngine includes hardware texture mapping to perform very rapid geometric transformations such as rotation, continuous zoom, and image warping. Textures are pixel data, either synthetic, video, or photo (image). The physical texture memory can hold up to two 1K x 1K images (or many more, smaller textures). Further, RealityEngine provides a mechanism for handling larger images as virtual textures. Images that are larger than 1K x 1K can be accessed as smaller sub-sections, or pages. These pages can in turn be loaded into texture memory on demand. Thus, a very large image can be geometrically transformed using the texture mapping capabilities of RealityEngine.

RealityEngine also provides for projected texturing. Traditional texture mapping techniques require that the image first be warped into an orthogonal view before being used as a texture. Projected texturing allows the use of images that are non-orthogonal to be used directly as textures. Further, individual textures do not need to be created for individual geometric faces. The use of projected texturing reduces the requirements for database information, simplifies processing requirements, and speeds scene generation.


Through the use of programmable video output formats, RealityEngine is capable of a wide range of display options. The 1280 x 1024 workstation standard can be extended to 1600 x 1200 non-interlaced, HDTV, and many other standard video formats. New display capabilities include stereo in a window, pannable composite video output and 72 Hz refresh rates. RealityEngine provides data type and color space conversions while performing real-time image transfer to the frame buffer. The RealityEngine frame buffer provides the widest dynamic range available, storing pixels with 12-bits per color component. The result is interactive image display and roaming capabilities with ultra-high resolution images.


As with all Silicon Graphics computers, RealityEngine image processing systems can be configured in a number of different ways; from IRIS Crimson/RealityEngine single-CPU systems using the 64 bit MIPS R4000, up to 8-CPU IRIS 4D480/RealityEngine.

All IRIS Crimson, IRIS POWERSeries systems or IRIS SkyWriter system can be upgraded to RealityEngine with a simple board-swap.

For more information please call

U.S. 1 800 800 SGI 1 (7441)
U.K. 0 800 440 440
Australia 008 802 677

Corporate Office

2011 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA 94043

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Copyright 1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved. Silicon Graphics, IRIS and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks, and RealityEngine, IRIS Crimson, Crimson, Power Series, SkyWriter and ImageVision Library are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice. R4000 is a trademark of MIPS Computer Systems, Inc. Cover image: San Francisco Bay Area - Landsat image processing courtesy of the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM), Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Typed up by Ian Mapleson (mapleson@gamers.org) on 23/Nov/98
Original Document Code: REFold-VertMkt-DS (7/92)

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