An FPGA-based Real-Time Volume Rendering System
Small Business Information
BIO-IMAGING RESEARCH, INC., 425 BARCLAY BLVD, LINCOLNSHIRE, IL, 60069
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project involves the research and development of a real-time FPGA-based volume rendering system. In many scientific, engineering and medical diagnostic imaging applications, large amounts of data from 3D dimensional objects are generated. As a necessity or to gain better insight into the data, these data sets must be visualized. However, data set sizes are growing at such an incredible rate that current visualization solutions are proving inadequate. For example, there is no solution on the market that can cope with the multiple volumes produced per second by multi-slice CT scanners and 3D ultrasound devices. In addition, the high expense of the only hardware solution on the market has limited the availability of this enabling technology. As a result, important data is often overlooked producing inaccurate medial diagnoses. The volume rendering system developed in this project will alleviate this data overload problem, producing more effective medical imaging procedures. The goal of this research is to develop a low-cost FPGA-based volume render that is capable of 3D and 4D rendering of large data sets in real-time. By being based on FPGAs, the volume renderer will be low cost, making volume rendering available to a wider range of customers. Additionally, the renderer will support very high quality renderings through the use of higher-order gradients. The volume renderer will appeal to users in many markets, including: medical diagnostic imaging, oil exploration, security inspection and engineering simulations. One very exciting application of the 4D capabilities of the volume renderer will be in multi-slice CT cardiac imaging, enabling non-invasive procedures to be performed in place of current invasive procedures. The volume renderer will potentially make medical imaging more accurate and useful, speed up the discover of drugs and natural resources and permit fast viewing of the results produced from large scale engineering and scientific applications. As a consequence, the nation stands to benefit from productivity increases and reproved health care.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.