Class NVPixelDataRange

  • public class NVPixelDataRange
    extends java.lang.Object
    Native bindings to the NV_pixel_data_range extension.

    The vertex array range extension is intended to improve the efficiency of OpenGL vertex arrays. OpenGL vertex arrays' coherency model and ability to access memory from arbitrary locations in memory prevented implementations from using DMA (Direct Memory Access) operations.

    Many image-intensive applications, such as those that use dynamically generated textures, face similar problems. These applications would like to be able to sustain throughputs of hundreds of millions of pixels per second through DrawPixels and hundreds of millions of texels per second through TexSubImage.

    However, the same restrictions that limited vertex throughput also limit pixel throughput.

    By the time that any pixel operation that reads data from user memory returns, OpenGL requires that it must be safe for the application to start using that memory for a different purpose. This coherency model prevents asynchronous DMA transfers directly out of the user's buffer.

    There are also no restrictions on the pointer provided to pixel operations or on the size of the data. To facilitate DMA implementations, the driver needs to know in advance what region of the address space to lock down.

    Vertex arrays faced both of these restrictions already, but pixel operations have one additional complicating factor -- they are bidirectional. Vertex array data is always being transfered from the application to the driver and the HW, whereas pixel operations sometimes transfer data to the application from the driver and HW. Note that the types of memory that are suitable for DMA for reading and writing purposes are often different. For example, on many PC platforms, DMA pulling is best accomplished with write-combined (uncached) AGP memory, while pushing data should use cached memory so that the application can read the data efficiently once it has been read back over the AGP bus.

    This extension defines an API where an application can specify two pixel data ranges, which are analogous to vertex array ranges, except that one is for operations where the application is reading data (e.g. glReadPixels) and one is for operations where the application is writing data (e.g. glDrawPixels, glTexSubImage2D, etc.). Each pixel data range has a pointer to its start and a length in bytes.

    When the pixel data range is enabled, and if the pointer specified as the argument to a pixel operation is inside the corresponding pixel data range, the implementation may choose to asynchronously pull data from the pixel data range or push data to the pixel data range. Data pulled from outside the pixel data range is undefined, while pushing data to outside the pixel data range produces undefined results.

    The application may synchronize with the hardware in one of two ways: by flushing the pixel data range (or causing an implicit flush) or by using the NV_fence extension to insert fences in the command stream.