A multi-core CPU pipeline architecture for virtual environments

Eric Acosta*, Alan Liu, Jennifer Sieck, Gilbert Muniz, Mark Bowyer, Rocco Armonda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Physically-based virtual environments (VEs) provide realistic interactions and behaviors for computer-based medical simulations. Limited CPU resources have traditionally forced VEs to be simplified for real-time performance. Multi-core processors greatly increase the computational capacity of computers and are quickly becoming standard. However, developing non-application specific methods to fully utilize all available CPU cores for processing VEs is difficult. The paper describes a pipeline VE architecture designed for multi-core CPU systems. The architecture enables development of VEs that leverage the computational resources of all CPU cores for VE simulation. A VE's workload is dynamically distributed across the available CPU cores. A VE can be developed once and scale efficiently with the number of cores. The described pipeline architecture makes it possible to develop complex physically-based VEs for medical simulations. Initial results for a craniotomy simulator being developed have shown super-linear and near-linear speedups when tested with up to four cores.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 17 - NextMed
Subtitle of host publicationDesign for/the Well Being
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9781586039646
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event17th Annual MMVR Conference - NextMed: Design for/the Well Being, MMVR17 2009 - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: 19 Jan 200922 Jan 2009

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference17th Annual MMVR Conference - NextMed: Design for/the Well Being, MMVR17 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach, CA


  • Multi-core CPU
  • Parallel pipeline
  • Surgical simulation
  • Virtual Reality


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