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Graphics processing unit

Specialized electronic circuit; graphics accelerator / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed to manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display device. GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles.

Components of a GPU

Modern GPUs are efficient at manipulating computer graphics and image processing. Their parallel structure makes them more efficient than general-purpose central processing units (CPUs) for algorithms that process large blocks of data in parallel. In a personal computer, a GPU can be present on a video card or embedded on the motherboard. In some CPUs, they are embedded on the CPU die.[1]

In the 1970s, the term "GPU" originally stood for graphics processor unit and described a programmable processing unit independently working from the CPU and responsible for graphics manipulation and output.[2][3] Later, in 1994, Sony used the term (now standing for graphics processing unit) in reference to the PlayStation console's Toshiba-designed Sony GPU in 1994.[4] The term was popularized by Nvidia in 1999, who marketed the GeForce 256 as "the world's first GPU".[5] It was presented as a "single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines".[6] Rival ATI Technologies coined the term "visual processing unit" or VPU with the release of the Radeon 9700 in 2002.[7]