Pixel Shader 2

Pixel shader

A pixel shader is a shader program, often executed on a graphics processing unit. It adds 3D shading and lighting effects to pixels in an image, for example those in video games. Microsoft's Direct X and Open GL support pixel shaders. In OpenGL a pixel shader is called a fragment shader.

Function

A pixel shader computes color and other attributes of each pixel. Pixel shaders range from always outputting the same color, to applying a lighting value, to doing bump mapping, shadows, specular highlights, translucency and other phenomena. A pixel shader alone cannot produce very complex effects, because it operates only on a single pixel, without knowledge of a scene's geometry or of neighboring pixels. A pixel shader is a computation kernel function. Pixel shaders can alter the depth of the pixel (for Z-buffering), or output more than one color if multiple render targets are active.

Programming

Pixel shaders have been programmed in Assembly, Cg, GLSL, HLSL and other languages.

Compatibility

Hardware

This shows which cards, graphic chips, and DirectX-Version supports which Pixel-Shader-Version. Graphic chips usually are fully downward compatible (3.0 chip supports 2.0, 1.1, etc.).

PS version DirectX version 3DLabs ATI Intel Matrox NVIDIA S3 Graphics SiS XGI
1.0/1.1 8.0 - - - - GeForce 3 series - Xabre-Series -
1.2 8.0a Wildcat VP - - - - - - -
1.3 8.0a - - - Parhelia series GeForce 4 Ti/Go series - Mirage 2 -
1.4 8.1 - Radeon R200 (8500-9250) - - - - - Volari V3 series (except V3XT)
2.0 9.0 Wildcat Realizm Radeon R300 (9500-9800, X300-X600) Intel GMA 900, 950, 3000, 3100 - - DeltaChrome, GammaChrome, Chrome S2x series Mirage 3, Mirage 3+ Volari V3XT, Volari V5 series, Volari V8 series, Volari 8300, Volari XP10
2.0a 9.0a - - - - - - - -
2.0b 9.0b - Radeon R420 (X700-X850) - - GeForce FX series - - -
3.0 9.0c - Radeon R520 (X1300-X1950) Intel GMA X3000 - GeForce 6 series, GeForce 7 series - - -
4.0 10 - Radeon R600 (HD 2400-HD 2900) Intel GMA X3100, X3500 - GeForce 8 series, GeForce 9 Series, GeForce 200 Series - Mirage 4 -
4.1 10.1 - Radeon R600 (HD 3xxx), Radeon R700 (HD 4xxx) - - - - - -
(Italics indicate products that are not yet available.)

See also

References

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