Rise of the Graphics Processor

D. Blythe
Microsoft Corp., Redmond
Proceedings of the IEEE In Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol. 96, No. 5. (2008), pp. 761-778.


   title={Rise of the graphics processor},

   author={Blythe, D.},

   journal={Proceedings of the IEEE},








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The modern graphics processing unit (GPU) is the result of 40 years of evolution of hardware to accelerate graphics processing operations. It represents the convergence of support for multiple market segments: computer-aided design, medical imaging, digital content creation, document and presentation applications, and entertainment applications. The exceptional performance characteristics of the GPU make it an attractive target for other application domains. We examine some of this evolution, look at the structure of a modern GPU, and discuss how graphics processing exploits this structure and how nongraphical applications can take advantage of this capability. We discuss some of the technical and market issues around broader adoption of this technology.
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