NVIDIA's Release 275 drivers for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris provide full GPU-acceleration of a style of 2D graphics known as path rendering. Path rendering specifies a scene as a sequence of resolution-independent outlines, known as paths, that can be filled or stroked. Such paths can be painted with constant colors, linear or radial gradients, or images. Unlike bitmap images, apath rendering content can be arbitrarily zoomed and rescaled without pixelized results. Path rendering contents are also easy to edit and animate because an artist can manipulate or edit the underlying paths that make up the scene instead of having to manipulate individual pixels. For this reason and manyother advantages, path rendering powers important 2D graphics standards such as PostScript, PDF, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Adobe Flash, TrueType and OpenType font rendering, Office drawings, Adobe Illustrator, HTML 5 Canvas, and more.
Today most path rendering is preformed with the CPU. However,in much the same way nearly all 3D rendering is now performed on the GPU, NVIDIA expects applications over the next year to migrate their path rendering to the faster and more efficient GPU. Traditionally, the GPU has focused its efforts on accelerating 3D graphics for games and 3D content creation. However, with the increased flexibility and performancebenefitsof NVIDIA's CUDA-capable GPUs, path rendering is a task best performed on and by the GPU.
The NV_path_rendering extension to OpenGL is supported in Release 275 drivers and beyond with all CUDA-capable NVIDIA GPUs. This encompasses GeForce 8 and newer series GPUs. Here you'll find an introduction to the NV_path_rendering approach to GPU-accelerated path rendering. The accompanying software development kit (NVprSDK) and pre-compiled demos (NVprDEMOs) demonstrate the path rendering quality and performance achievable with NV_path_rendering. Accompanying presentations and whitepapers explain how application programmers can start making use of NV_path_rendering today.
If you have questions about NV_path_rendering, send email to nvpr-support at nvidia dot com.