Gen-NeRF: Efficient and Generalizable Neural Radiance Fields via Algorithm-Hardware Co-Design

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PubDate: Apr 2023

Teams: Georgia Institute of Technology;Rice University

Writers: Yonggan Fu, Zhifan Ye, Jiayi Yuan, Shunyao Zhang, Sixu Li, Haoran You, Yingyan Lin

PDF: Gen-NeRF: Efficient and Generalizable Neural Radiance Fields via Algorithm-Hardware Co-Design

Abstract

Novel view synthesis is an essential functionality for enabling immersive experiences in various Augmented- and Virtual-Reality (AR/VR) applications, for which generalizable Neural Radiance Fields (NeRFs) have gained increasing popularity thanks to their cross-scene generalization capability. Despite their promise, the real-device deployment of generalizable NeRFs is bottlenecked by their prohibitive complexity due to the required massive memory accesses to acquire scene features, causing their ray marching process to be memory-bounded. To this end, we propose Gen-NeRF, an algorithm-hardware co-design framework dedicated to generalizable NeRF acceleration, which for the first time enables real-time generalizable NeRFs. On the algorithm side, Gen-NeRF integrates a coarse-then-focus sampling strategy, leveraging the fact that different regions of a 3D scene contribute differently to the rendered pixel, to enable sparse yet effective sampling. On the hardware side, Gen-NeRF highlights an accelerator micro-architecture to maximize the data reuse opportunities among different rays by making use of their epipolar geometric relationship. Furthermore, our Gen-NeRF accelerator features a customized dataflow to enhance data locality during point-to-hardware mapping and an optimized scene feature storage strategy to minimize memory bank conflicts. Extensive experiments validate the effectiveness of our proposed Gen-NeRF framework in enabling real-time and generalizable novel view synthesis.

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