Graphics processing unit (GPU)

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Source-This post on Graphics processing unit (GPU) is based on the article “What is a GPU? An expert explains the chips powering the AI boom, and why they’re worth trillions” published in “The Hindu” on 12th March 2024.

Why in the News?

This article discusses the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which has seen a surge in demand as the global community eagerly embraces the latest advancements in AI technology.

What is Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?

Graphics processing Units (GPU)
Source- The Hindu

1. About– It is a computer chip that rapidly calculates mathematical operations to display graphics and images. Similar to a central processing unit (CPU), a GPU is a chip component found in computing devices.

2. Purpose– GPUs serve purposes in both professional and personal computing. Initially, they were designed for rendering 2D and 3D images, animations, and videos, but now they have a wider use.

3. Applications- Creative content creation, video editing, high-performance computing (HPC), and artificial intelligence (AI).

4. Key difference between CPU and GPU:
a.
One key difference is that the GPU is designed to accelerate and manage graphics tasks, displaying graphics content on devices such as PCs or smartphones.
b. A regular modern CPU has around 8 to 16 “cores,” each handling tasks one by one. In contrast, GPUs have thousands of smaller cores that work simultaneously, or “in parallel,” for swift processing.

How does a GPU work?

1. GPUs operate through parallel processing, employing multiple processors to manage different segments of a single task.

2. A GPU also includes its own RAM to store the data it processes. This RAM is tailored to handle the large volumes of information required for intense graphics tasks.

3. In graphics applications, the CPU instructs the GPU to render the graphics content displayed on the screen. The GPU carries out instructions simultaneously and rapidly to showcase content on the device, a process known as the graphics or rendering pipeline.

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