Shuaiwen Leon Song, a researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, studies high performance computing with the aim of making computers faster, smaller and more energy efficient.
The leap from supercomputers to video games started when Song asked if a hardware known as “3D stacked memory” could perform something it was never planned to execute: help deliver 3D graphics. 3D delivering has advanced science with models, visualizations and virtual reality- the material of video games.
Song and team worked to develop a new architecture for 3D stacked memory which increases 3D delivering speeds up to 65%.
A normal graphics card uses a GPU (graphics processing unit) to make images from the memory stored data. 3D stacked memory has an additional logic layer which enables the memory to do some processing too -- hence called "processing in memory." This reduces the data traveling from memory to GPU cores. And, less traffic means faster speeds.
The final step in delivering is known as anisotropic filtering. It creates the most traffic. They moved anisotropic filtering to the first step to achieve greatest performance boost. Song tested this architecture on renowned games like Half-life 2 and Doom 3.