Onloaded Shadows: Moving Shadow Map Generation from the GPU to the CPU

In this Intel-sponsored Gamasutra feature, a special game-related "onloading" technique called Onloaded Shadows is explored, examining notable performance ramifications and future improvement possibilities.

With the recent introduction of 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ processors (formerly code named "Sandy Bridge"), graphics functionality is increasingly becoming more tightly integrated with the CPU.

There are many interesting opportunities and techniques to increase the cooperation of the CPU and GPU, including "onloading" graphics techniques, which several of my colleagues are working on.

This article explores an "onloading" technique called Onloaded Shadows, developed by Zane Mankowski with support from Josh Doss, Steve Smith, and Doug Binks. In addition to explaining the technique itself, Zane and team also include interesting performance numbers on processor graphics and discreet graphics cards.

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