GPU Virtualization on VMware's Hosted I/O Architecture
Micah Dowty, Jeremy Sugerman
3401 Hillview Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304
micah at vmware.com, yoel at vmware.com
Modern graphics co-processors (GPUs) can produce high fidelity images
several orders of magnitude faster than general purpose CPUs, and this
performance expectation is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in personal
computers. Despite this, GPU virtualization is a nascent field of
research. This paper introduces a taxonomy of strategies for GPU
virtualization and describes in detail the specific GPU virtualization
architecture developed for VMware's hosted products (VMware Workstation and
We analyze the performance of our GPU virtualization with a combination of
applications and microbenchmarks. We also compare against software
rendering, the GPU virtualization in Parallels Desktop 3.0, and the native
GPU. We find that taking advantage of hardware acceleration significantly
closes the gap between pure emulation and native, but that different
implementations and host graphics stacks show distinct variation.
The microbenchmarks show that our architecture amplifies the
overheads in the traditional graphics API bottlenecks: draw calls,
downloading buffers, and batch sizes.
Our virtual GPU architecture runs
modern graphics-intensive games and applications at interactive frame rates
while preserving virtual machine portability. The applications we tested
achieve from 86% to 12% of native rates and 43 to 18 frames per second
with VMware Fusion 2.0.
Over the past decade, virtual machines (VMs) have become increasingly
popular as a technology for multiplexing both desktop and server
commodity x86 computers. Over that time, several critical challenges
in CPU virtualization were solved and there are now both software and
hardware techniques for virtualizing CPUs with very low
overheads . I/O virtualization, however, is still very
much an open problem and a wide variety of strategies are used.
Graphics co-processors (GPUs) in particular present a challenging
mixture of broad complexity, high performance, rapid change, and
Modern high-end GPUs have more transistors, draw more power, and offer at
least an order of magnitude more computational performance than CPUs. At
the same time, GPU acceleration has extended beyond entertainment (e.g.,
games and video) into the basic windowing systems of recent operating
systems and is starting to be applied to non-graphical high-performance
applications including protein folding, financial modeling, and medical
image processing. The rise in applications that exploit, or even assume,
GPU acceleration makes it increasingly important to expose the physical
graphics hardware in virtualized environments. Additionally, virtual
desktop infrastructure (VDI) initiatives have led many enterprises to try to
simplify their desktop management by delivering VMs to their
users. Graphics virtualization is extremely important to a user whose
primary desktop runs inside a VM.
GPUs pose a unique challenge in the field of virtualization. Machine virtualization
multiplexes physical hardware by presenting each VM with a
virtual device and combining their respective operations in the
hypervisor platform in a way that utilizes native hardware while preserving
the illusion that each guest has a complete stand-alone device.
Graphics processors are extremely complicated devices.
In addition, unlike CPUs, chipsets, and popular storage and network
controllers, GPU designers are highly secretive about the specifications for
their hardware. Finally, GPU architectures change dramatically across
generations and their generational cycle is short compared to CPUs and other devices.
Thus, it is nearly intractable to provide a virtual device corresponding to
a real modern GPU. Even starting with a complete implementation, updating it
for each new GPU generation would be prohibitively laborious.
Thus, rather than modeling a complete modern GPU, our primary approach
paravirtualizes: it delivers an idealized software-only GPU and our own
custom graphics driver for interfacing with the guest operating system.
The main technical contributions of this paper are (1) a taxonomy of GPU
virtualization strategies-both emulated and passthrough-based, (2) an
overview of the virtual graphics stack in VMware's hosted
architecture, and (3) an evaluation and comparison of VMware Fusion's 3D
acceleration with other approaches. We find that a hosted
model  is a good fit for handling complicated, rapidly
changing GPUs while the largely asynchronous graphics programming model is
still able efficiently to utilize GPU hardware acceleration.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows.
Section 2 provides background and some terminology.
Section 3 describes a taxonomy of strategies for
exposing GPU acceleration to VMs. Section 4 describes
the device emulation and rendering thread of the graphics
virtualization in VMware products. Section 5 evaluates
the 3D acceleration in VMware Fusion. Section 6
summarizes our findings and describes potential future work.
While CPU virtualization has a rich research and commercial history,
graphics hardware virtualization is a relatively new area. VMware's virtual
hardware has always included a display adapter, but it initially included
only basic 2D support . Experimental 3D support did
not appear until VMware Workstation 5.0 (April 2005). Both
Blink  and VMGL  used a user-level Chromium-like
approach  to accelerate fixed function OpenGL in Linux and
other UNIX-like guests. Parallels Desktop 3.0  accelerates
some OpenGL and Direct3D guest applications with a combination of Wine and
proprietary code , but loses its interposition
while those applications are running. Finally, at the most recent Intel
Developer Forum, Parallels presented a demo that dedicates an entire native
GPU to a single virtual machine using Intel's VT-d [9,10].
The most immediate application for GPU virtualization is to desktop
virtualization. While server workloads still form the core use case for
virtualization, desktop virtualization is now the strongest growth
market . Desktop users run a diverse array of applications,
including entertainment, CAD, and visualization software.
Windows Vista, Mac OS X, and recent Linux distributions all include
GPU-accelerated windowing systems. Furthermore, an increasing number of
ubiquitous applications are adopting GPU acceleration. Adobe Flash Player
10, the next version of a product which currently reaches 99.0% of Internet
viewers , will include GPU acceleration. There is a user
expectation that virtualized applications will "just work", and this
increasingly includes having access to their graphics card.
2.1 GPU Hardware
This section will briefly introduce GPU hardware. It is not within the
scope of this paper to provide a full discussion of GPU architecture
and programming models.
Graphics hardware has experienced a continual evolution from mere CRT
controllers to powerful programmable stream processors. Early graphics
accelerators could draw rectangles or bitmaps. Later graphics accelerators
could rasterize triangles and transform and light them in hardware. With
current PC graphics hardware, formerly fixed-function transformation and
shading has become generally programmable. Graphics applications use
high-level Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to configure the
pipeline, and provide shader programs which perform application
specific per-vertex and per-pixel processing on the GPU .
Future GPUs are expected to continue providing increased
programmability. Intel recently announced its Larrabee 
architecture, a potentially disruptive technology which follows this
trend to its extreme.
With the recent exception of many AMD GPUs, for which open
documentation is now available , GPU hardware is
proprietary. NVIDIA's hardware documentation, for example, is a
closely guarded trade secret. Nearly all graphics applications
interact with the GPU via a standardized API such as Microsoft's
DirectX or the vendor-independent OpenGL standard.
3 GPU Virtualization Taxonomy
This section explores the GPU virtualization approaches we have
considered at VMware. We use four primary criteria for judging them:
performance, fidelity, multiplexing, and interposition. The former two
emphasize minimizing the cost of virtualization: users desire native
performance and full access to the native hardware features. The latter two
emphasize the added value of virtualization: virtualization is fundamentally
about enabling many virtual instances of one physical entity
and then hopefully using that abstraction to deliver secure isolation,
resource management, virtual machine portability, and many other features
enabled by insulating the guest from physical hardware dependencies.
We observe that different use cases weight the criteria differently-for
example a VDI deployment values high VM-to-GPU consolidation ratios (e.g.,
multiplexing) while a consumer running a VM to access a game or CAD
application unavailable on his host values performance and likely fidelity.
A tech support person maintaining a library of different configurations
and an IT administrator running server VMs are both likely to value
portability and secure isolation (interposition).
Since these criteria are often in opposition (e.g., performance at the
expense of interposition), we describe several possible designs. Rather than
give an exhaustive list, we describe points in the design space which highlight
and capabilities. At a high level, we group them into two categories:
front-end (application facing) and back-end (hardware facing).
3.1 Front-end Virtualization
Front-end virtualization introduces a virtualization boundary at a
relatively high level in the stack, and runs the graphics driver in the
host/hypervisor. This approach does not rely on any GPU vendor- or
model-specific details. Access to the GPU is entirely mediated through the
vendor provided APIs and drivers on the host while the guest only interacts
with software. Current GPUs allow applications many independent
"contexts" so multiplexing is easy. Interposition is not a
given-unabstracted details of the GPU's capabilities may be exposed to the
virtual machine for fidelity's sake-but it is straightforward to achieve
if desired. However, there is a performance risk if too much abstraction
occurs in pursuit of interposition.
Front-end techniques exist on a continuum between two extremes:
API remoting, in which graphics API calls are blindly
forwarded from the guest to the external graphics stack via remote procedure
call, and device emulation, in which a virtual GPU is emulated
and the emulation synthesizes host graphics operations in response
to actions by the guest device drivers. These extremes have serious
disadvantages that can be overcome by intermediate solutions. Pure API
remoting is simple to implement, but completely sacrifices interposition and
involves wrapping and forwarding an extremely broad collection of entry
points. Pure emulation of a modern GPU delivers excellent interposition and
implements a narrower interface, but a highly complicated and
Our hosted GPU acceleration employs front-end virtualization and is
described in Section 4. Parallels Desktop 3.0, Blink, and
VMGL are other examples of front-end virtualization. Parallels appears to
be closest to pure API remoting, as VM execution state cannot be saved to
disk while OpenGL or Direct3D applications are running. VMGL uses Chromium
to augment its remoting with OpenGL state tracking and Blink implements
something similar. This allows them suspend-to-disk functionality and
reduces the amount of data which needs to be copied across the
3.2 Back-end Virtualization
Back-end techniques run the graphics driver stack inside the virtual machine
with the virtualization boundary between the stack and physical GPU
hardware. These techniques have the potential for high performance and
fidelity, but multiplexing and especially interposition can be serious
challenges. Since a VM interacts directly with proprietary hardware
resources, its execution state is bound to the specific GPU vendor
and possibly the exact GPU model in use. However, exposure to the native
GPU is excellent for fidelity: a guest can likely exploit the full range of
The most obvious back-end virtualization technique is fixed
pass-through: the permanent association of a virtual machine with full
exclusive access to a physical GPU. Recent chipset features, such as
Intel's VT-d, make fixed pass-through practical without requiring any
special knowledge of a GPU's programming interfaces. However, fixed
pass-through is not a general solution. It completely forgoes any
multiplexing and packing machines with one GPU per virtual machine (plus one
for the host) is not feasible.
One extension of fixed pass-through is mediated pass-through. As
mentioned, GPUs already support multiple independent contexts and mediated
pass-through proposes dedicating just a context, or set of contexts, to a
virtual machine rather than an entire GPU. This allows multiplexing, but
incurs two additional costs: the GPU hardware must implement contexts in a
way that they can be mapped to different virtual machines with low overheads
and the host/hypervisor must have enough of a hardware driver to allocate
and manage GPU contexts. Potentially third, if each context does not appear
as a full (logical) device, the guest device drivers must be able to handle
Mediated pass-through is still missing any interposition features beyond
(perhaps) basic isolation. A number of tactics using paravirtualization or
standardization of a subset of hardware interfaces can potentially unlock
these additional interposition features. Analogous techniques for networking
hardware were presented at VMworld 2008 .
4 VMware's Virtual GPU
All of VMware's products include a virtual display adapter that
supports VGA and basic high resolution 2D graphics modes. On VMware's
hosted products, this adapter also provides accelerated GPU virtualization
using a front-end virtualization strategy. To satisfy our design goals, we
chose a flavor of front-end virtualization which provides good portability
and performance, and which integrates well with existing operating system
driver models. Our approach is most similar to the device emulation
approach above, but it includes characteristics similar to those of
API remoting. The in-guest driver and emulated device communicate
asynchronously with VMware's Mouse-Keyboard-Screen (MKS) abstraction. The
MKS runs as a separate thread and owns all of our access to the host GPU
(and windowing system in general).
4.1 SVGA Device Emulation
Our virtual GPU takes the form of an emulated PCI device, the
VMware SVGA II card. No physical instances of this card exist,
but our virtual implementation acts like a physical graphics card in
most respects. The architecture of our PCI device is outlined by
Figure 1. Inside the VM, it interfaces with a
device driver we supply for common guest operating systems. Currently
only the Windows XP driver has 3D acceleration support. Outside the
VM, a user-level device emulation process is responsible for handling
accesses to the PCI configuration and I/O space of the SVGA device.
Figure 1: VMware SVGA II device architecture
Figure 2: The virtual graphics stack. The MKS/HostOps Dispatch and
rendering occur asynchronously in their own thread.
Our virtual graphics device provides three fundamental kinds of
virtual hardware resources: registers, Guest Memory Regions (GMRs),
and a FIFO command queue.
Registers may be located in I/O space, for infrequent operations that
must be emulated synchronously, or in the faster "FIFO Memory"
region, which is backed by plain system memory on the host. I/O space
registers are used for mode switching, GMR setup, IRQ acknowledgement,
versioning, and for legacy purposes. FIFO registers include large data
structures, such as the host's 3D rendering capabilities, and
fast-moving values such as the mouse cursor location-this is
effectively a shared memory region between the guest driver and the
GMRs are an abstraction for guest owned memory which the virtual GPU
is allowed to read or write. GMRs can be defined by the guest's video
driver using arbitrary discontiguous regions of guest system
memory. Additionally, there always exists one default GMR: the
device's "virtual VRAM." This VRAM is actually host system memory,
up to 128 MB, mapped into PCI memory space via BAR1. The beginning of
this region is reserved as a 2D framebuffer.
In our virtual GPU, physical VRAM is not directly visible to the
guest. This is important for portability, and it is one of the primary
trade-offs made by our front-end virtualization model. To access
physical VRAM surfaces like textures, vertex buffers, and render
targets, the guest driver schedules an asynchronous DMA operation
which transfers data between a surface and a GMR. In every surface
transfer, this DMA mechanism adds at least one copy beyond the normal
overhead that would be experienced in a non-virtualized environment or
with back-end virtualization. Often only this single copy is
necessary, because the MKS can provide the host's OpenGL or Direct3D
implementation with direct pointers into mapped GMR memory. This
virtual DMA model has the potential to far outperform a pure API
remoting approach like VMGL or Chromium, not only because so few
copies are necessary, but because the guest driver may cache lockable
Direct3D buffers directly in GMR memory.
Like a physical graphics accelerator, the SVGA device processes
commands asynchronously via a lockless FIFO queue. This queue, several
megabytes in size, occupies the bulk of the FIFO Memory region
referenced by BAR2. During unaccelerated 2D rendering, FIFO commands
are used to mark changed regions in the framebuffer, informing the MKS
to copy from the guest framebuffer to the physical display. During 3D
rendering, the FIFO acts as transport layer for our
architecture-independent SVGA3D rendering protocol. FIFO
commands also initiate all DMA operations, perform hardware
accelerated blits, and control accelerated video and mouse cursor
We deliver host to guest notifications via a virtual interrupt. Our
virtual GPU has multiple interrupt sources which may be programmed via
FIFO registers. To measure the host's command execution progress, the
guest may insert FIFO fence commands, each with a unique 32-bit
ID. Upon executing a fence, the host stores its value in a FIFO register
and optionally delivers an interrupt. This mechanism allows the guest
to very efficiently check whether a specific command has completed
yet, and to optionally wait for it by sleeping until a
FIFO goal interrupt is received.
The SVGA3D protocol is a simplified and idealized adaptation of the
Direct3D API. It has a minimal number of distinct commands. Drawing
operations are expressed using a single flexible vertex/index array
notation. All host VRAM resources, including 2D textures, 3D textures,
cube environment maps, render targets, and vertex/index buffers are
represented using a homogeneous surface abstraction. Shaders are
written in a variant of Direct3D's bytecode format, and most
fixed-function render states are based on Direct3D render state.
This protocol acts as a common interchange format for GPU commands and
state. The guest contains API implementations which produce
SVGA3D commands rather than commands for a specific GPU. This
provides an opportunity to actively trade capability for
portability. The host can control which of the physical GPU's features
are exposed to the guest. As a result, VMs using
SVGA3D are widely portable between different physical
GPUs. It is possible to suspend a live application to disk, move
it to a different host with a different GPU or MKS backend, and
resume it. Even if the destination GPU exposes fewer capabilities via
SVGA3D, in some cases our architecture can use its layer of
interposition as an opportunity to emulate missing features in
software. This portability assurance is critical for preventing GPU
virtualization from compromising the core value propositions of
This FIFO design is inherently asynchronous. All host-side rendering
happens in the MKS thread, while the guest's virtual CPUs execute
As illustrated in Figure 2,
access to the physical GPU is mediated first through the GPU vendor's
driver running in the host OS, and secondly via the Host Operations
(HostOps) backends in the MKS. The MKS has multiple HostOps backend
implementations including GDI and X11 backends to support basic 2D graphics
on all Windows and Linux hosts, a VNC server for remote display, and 3D
accelerated backends written for both Direct3D and OpenGL. In theory we need
only an OpenGL backend to support Windows, Linux, and Mac OS hosts; however
we have found Direct3D drivers to be of generally better quality, so we use
them when possible. Additional backends could be written to access GPU
The guest video driver writes commands into FIFO memory, and the MKS
processes them continuously on a dedicated rendering thread. This design
choice is critical for performance, however it introduces several new
challenges in synchronization. In part, this is a classic producer-consumer
problem. The FIFO requires no host-guest synchronization as long as it is
never empty nor full, but the host must sleep any time the FIFO is empty,
and the guest must sleep when it is full. The guest may also need to sleep
for other reasons. The guest video driver must implement some form of flow
control, so that video latency is not unbounded if the guest submits FIFO
commands faster than the host completes them. The driver may also need to
wait for DMA completion, either to recycle DMA memory or to read back
results from the GPU. To implement this synchronization efficiently, the
FIFO requires both guest to host and host to guest notifications.
The MKS will normally poll the command FIFO at a fixed rate, between
25 and 100 Hz. This is effectively the virtual vertical refresh rate
of the device during unaccelerated 2D rendering. During
synchronization-intensive 3D rendering, we need a lower latency guest
to host notification. The guest can write to the doorbell, a
register in I/O space, to explicitly ask the host to poll the command
We conducted two categories of tests: application benchmarks, and
microbenchmarks. All tests were conducted on the same physical machine: a
2nd generation Apple Mac Pro, with a total of eight 2.8 GHz Intel
Xeon cores and an ATI Radeon HD2600 graphics card. All VMs used a
single virtual CPU. With one exception, we found that all
non-virtualized tests were unaffected by the number of CPU cores
5.1 Application Benchmarks
Figure 3: Relative performance of software rendering (SwiftShader) and three
hardware accelerated virtualization techniques. The log scale highlights
the huge gap between software and hardware acceleration versus the gap
between virtualized and native hardware.
Table 1: Absolute frame rates with VMware Fusion 2.0. All applications run
at interactive speeds (18-42 FPS).
The purpose of graphics acceleration hardware is to provide higher
performance than would be possible using software alone. Therefore,
in this section we will measure both the performance impact of
virtualized graphics relative to non-virtualized GPU hardware, and the
amount of performance improvement relative to TransGaming's
SwiftShader  software renderer, running in a VMware
Fusion virtual machine.
In addition to VMware Fusion 2.0, which uses the architecture described
above, we measured Parallels Desktop 3.0 where possible (three of our
configurations do not run). Both versions are the most recent
public release at time of writing. To demonstrate the effects that can be
caused by API translation and by the host graphics stacks, we also ran our
applications on VMware Workstation 6.5. These used our Direct3D rendering
backend on the same hardware, but running Windows XP using Boot Camp.
It is quite challenging to measure the performance of graphics
virtualization implementations accurately and fairly. The system under
test has many variables, and they are often difficult or impossible to
isolate. The virtualized operating system, host operating system, CPU
virtualization overhead, GPU hardware, GPU drivers, and application
under test may each have a profound effect on the overall system
performance. Any one of these components may have opaque fast and slow
paths-small differences in the application under test may cause wide
gaps in performance, due to subtle and often hidden details of each
component's implementation. For example, each physical GPU driver may
have different undocumented criteria for transferring vertex data at
Additionally, the matrix of possible tests is limited by incompatible
graphics APIs. Most applications and benchmarks are written for a
single API, either OpenGL or Direct3D. Each available GPU
virtualization implementation has a different level of API support.
Parallels Desktop supports both OpenGL and Direct3D, VMware Fusion
supports only Direct3D applications, and VMGL supports only OpenGL.
Figure 3 summarizes the application benchmark
results. All three virtualization products performed substantially
better than the fastest available software renderer, which obtained
less than 3% of native performance in all tests. Applications which
are mostly GPU limited, RTHDRIBL  and
Half Life 2: Episode 2, ran at closer to native speeds. Max Payne
exhibits low performance relative to native, but that reflects the low
ratio of GPU load to API calls. As a result, virtualization overhead
occupies a higher proportion of the whole execution time. In absolute terms,
though, Max Payne has the highest frame rate of our applications.
Table 1 reports the actual frame rates exhibited with
these applications under VMware Fusion. While our virtualized 3D
acceleration still lags native performance, we make two observations: it
still achieves interactive frame rates and it closes the lion's share of the
gulf between software rendering and native performance. For example, at
1600×1200, VMware Fusion renders Half-Life 2 at 22 frames per second, which
is 23.35x faster than software rendering and only 2.4x slower than native.
|Application ||Resolution ||FPS |
|RTHDRIBL ||1280×1024 ||22 |
|RTHDRIBL ||640×480 ||27.5 |
|Half Life 2: Episode 2 ||1600×1200 ||22.2 |
|Half Life 2: Episode 2 ||1024×768 ||32.2 |
|Civilization 4 ||1600×1200 ||18 |
|Max Payne 2 ||1600×1200 ||42 |
To better understand the nature of front-end virtualization's
performance impact, we performed a suite of microbenchmarks based on
triangle rendering speed under various conditions. For all
microbenchmarks, we rendered unlit untextured triangles using Vertex
Shader 1.1 and the fixed-function pixel pipeline. This minimizes our
dependency on shader translation and GPU driver implementation.
Each test renders a fixed number of frames, each containing a variable
number of draw calls with a variable length vertex buffer. For
security against jitter or drift caused by timer virtualization, all
tests measured elapsed time via a TCP/IP server running on an idle
physical machine. Parameters for each test were chosen to optimize
frame duration, so as to minimize the effects of noise from time
quantization, network latency, and vertical sync latency.
The static vertex test, Figure 4, tests performance
scalability when rendering vertex buffers which do not change
contents. In Direct3D terms, this tests the managed buffer pool. Very
little data must be exchanged between host and guest in this test, so
an ideal front-end virtualization implementation would do quite
well. VMware Workstation manages to get just over 80% of the host's
performance in this test. Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion get
around 30%. In our experience, this is due to inefficiency in the
Vertex Buffer Object support within Mac OS's OpenGL stack.
The dynamic vertex test, Figure 5, switches from
the managed buffer pool back to the default Direct3D buffer pool, and
uploads new vertex data prior to each of the 100 draws per frame. It
tests the driver stack's ability to stream data to the GPU, and manage
the re-use of buffer memory.
The next test, Figure 6, is intended to test
virtualization overhead while performing a GPU-intensive
operation. While triangles in previous tests had zero pixel coverage,
this tests renders triangles covering half the viewport. Ideally, this
test would show nearly identical results for any front-end
virtualization implementation. The actual results are relatively
close, but on VMware's platform there is a substantial amount of noise
in the results. This appears to be due to the irregular completion of
asynchronous commands when the physical GPU is under heavy load. Also
worth noting is the fact that VMware Fusion, on average, performed
better than the host machine. It's possible that this test is
exercising a particular drawing state which is more optimized in ATI's
Mac OS OpenGL driver than in their Windows Direct3D driver.
The final test, Figure 7, measures the overhead
added to every separate draw. This was the only test where we saw
variation in host performance based on the number of enabled CPU
cores. This microbenchmark illustrates why the number of draw calls
per frame is, in our experience, a relatively good predictor of
overall application performance with front-end GPU virtualization.
Figure 4: Static vertex rendering performance
Figure 5: Dynamic vertex rendering performance
Figure 6: Filled triangle rendering performance
Figure 7: Draw call overhead
In VMware's hosted architecture, we have implemented front-end GPU
virtualization using a virtual device model with a high level
rendering protocol. We have shown it to run modern graphics-intensive
games and applications at interactive frame rates while preserving
virtual machine interposition.
There is much future work in developing
reliable benchmarks which specifically stress the performance
weaknesses of a virtualization layer. Our tests show API overheads of
about 2 to 120 times that of a native GPU. As a result, the
performance of a virtualized GPU can be highly dependent on subtle
implementation details of the application under test.
Back-end virtualization holds much promise for performance, breadth of
GPU feature support, and ease of driver maintenance. While fixed
pass-through is easy, none of the more advanced techniques have been
demonstrated. This is a substantial opportunity for work by GPU and
Front-end virtualization currently shows a substantial
degradation in performance and GPU feature set relative to
native hardware. Nevertheless, it is already enabling
virtualized applications to run interactively that could never have been
virtualized before, and is a foundation for virtualization
of tomorrow's GPU-intensive software. Even as back-end
virtualization gains popularity, front-end virtualization can fill an
important role for VMs which must be portable among diverse GPUs.
Many people have contributed to the SVGA and 3D code over the years. We
would specifically like to thank Tony Cannon and Ramesh Dharan for their
work on the foundations of our display emulation. Aaditya Chandrasekhar
pioneered our shader translation architecture and continues to advance our
Direct3D virtualization. Shelley Gong, Alex Corscadden, Mark
Sheldon, and Stephen Johnson all actively contribute to our 3D emulation.
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