Appearing in the Proceedings of the 2001 Design Automation Conference
This paper presents a method of using texture mapping with mipmapping to render a VLSI layout. Texture mapping is used to save already rasterized areas of the layout from frame to frame, and to take advantage of any hardware accelerated capabilities of the host platform. Mipmapping is used to select which textures to display so that the amount of information sent to the display is bounded, and the image rendered on the display is filtered correctly. Additionally, two caching schemes are employed. The first, used to bound memory consumption, is a general purpose cache that holds textures spatially close to the user's current viewpoint. The second, used to speed up the rendering process, is a cache of heavily used sub-designs that are precomputed so rasterization on the fly is not necessary.
An experimental implementation shows that real-time navigation can be achieved on arbitrarily large designs. Results also show how this technique ensures that image quality does not degrade as the number of polygons drawn increases, avoiding the aliasing artifacts common in other layout systems.