Chromium: A Stream Processing Framework for Interactive Rendering on Clusters

Greg Humphreys, Mike Houston, Ren Ng
Stanford University

Randall Frank, Sean Ahern
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Peter Kirchner and James T. Klosowski
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Submitted to SIGGRAPH 2002


We describe Chromium, a system for manipulating streams of graphics API commands on clusters of workstations. Chromium's stream filters can be arranged to create sort-first and sort-last parallel graphics architectures that, in many cases, support the same applications while using only commodity graphics accelerators. In addition, these stream filters can be extended programmatically, allowing the user to customize the stream transformations performed by nodes in a cluster. Because our stream processing mechanism is completely general, any cluster-parallel rendering algorithm can be either implemented on top of or embedded in Chromium. In this paper, we give examples of real-world applications that use Chromium to achieve good scalability on clusters of workstations, and describe other potential uses of this stream processing technology. By completely abstracting the underlying graphics architecture, network topology, and API command processing semantics, we allow a variety of applications to run in different environments.


Greg Humphreys