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Pixel-Planes@40: A Celebration!

August 29, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 9:30 pm

a collage featuring a magazine cover highlighting Pixel-Planes alongside a poster highlighting PixelFlow


Massive Data Parallelism for Graphics and the AI Age

Tech talks, exhibits, reunion (in-person and remote)


Sitterson Hall and Brooks Building

UNC’s Pixel-Planes and PixelFlow projects aimed to solve the compute and frame buffer bottlenecks that stood in the way of interactive graphics. The massively parallel, logic-enhanced memory approach supported unparalleled scene complexity and also enabled realistic rendering features like real time programmable shading for the first time. These foreshadowed and in many ways paved the way for the GPU, the massively data parallel systems that have ubiquitized real time graphics, accelerated scientific computing, and heralded the era of AI. We celebrate the achievements of the Pixel-Planes and PixelFlow teams and the progress made in industry and academia since then that have exceeded the original dreams.


The link to join via Zoom will be shared with registrants. AGENDA Tech Talks (1:00 pm – 5:15 pm) – 011 Sitterson Hall
  • 1:00 pm – Welcome and Introduction Henry Fuchs and Steve Molnar
  • 1:15 pm – Applying the Tools of Mathematics to Graphics: Solid Geometry, Spheres, and Shadows as Linear Expressions” Jack Goldfeather (Carleton College)
  • 2:00 pm – “Real-Time Programmable Shading: Past, Present, and Future” Marc Olano (UNC Ph.D. ’98, University of Maryland Baltimore County)
  • 3:00 pm – “Breaking Memory and Compute Barriers to Real-time Graphics and the Compute Revolution that Ensued” Steve Molnar (UNC Ph.D. ’91, NVIDIA)
  • 4:00 pm – “Evolution of GPUs to High-Performance Computing and AI” David Luebke (UNC Ph.D. ’98, NVIDIA)
Buffet Dinner for Registered Tech Talk Participants (5:30 – 6:30 pm) – Sitterson Hall Lower Lobby
  • Dinner for registered participants and project members; informal personal reminiscences from John Austin, John Eyles, Trey Greer, Kurtis Keller, Anselmo Lastra, and others
Colloquium (7:00 pm – 8:15 pm) – 011 Sitterson Hall
  • “Pixel-Planes, GPU Innovations, and Massive Data Parallel Computing for the AI Age”
  • Speakers:
    • Henry Fuchs, Federico Gil Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UNC, Pixel-Planes project Co-PI
    • John Poulton, UNC Ph.D. ’80 (Physics), Pixel-Planes project Co-PI, Senior Engineer/Technical Director, NVIDIA, Rambus, and Velio
    • Steve Molnar, UNC PhD ’91, Distinguished Engineer, NVIDIA
    • David Luebke, UNC Ph.D. ’98, V.P. of Graphics Research, NVIDIA
Reception and Exhibits (8:15 pm – 9:30 pm) – Brooks Building Lobby
  • Dessert reception with exhibits of Pixel-Planes 4, 5, and PixelFlow systems, and demonstrations of current GPU capabilities

Zoom Info

Remote attendees should use this Zoom link to join the event. You will need to log into a Zoom account (or use Apple, Google, etc.) to enter the meeting.


While no parking is reserved for this event, you can find parking information for the university and the Town of Chapel Hill at and

The nearest public on-campus parking during the daytime will be at the Morehead Planetarium Lot (accessible from Franklin Street). The nearest public off-campus parking is available nearby at 104 West Rosemary Street and the Wallace Parking Deck (both accessible from Rosemary Street) near Columbia Street.

Visitors to campus after 5:00 p.m. may use ParkMobile (zone 4500) or weeknight pay stations to obtain a  $1 temporary one-night parking permit for select lots (please see the link above). Pay lots (including the Morehead Planetarium Lot) and meters will continue to operate during the evening. All off-campus public parking lots continue to operate into the evening.


If you have any questions, please email


August 29, 2022
1:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Sitterson Hall
201 S Columbia St
Chapel Hill, NC 27599 United States
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