GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is a computing device capable of performing very high amounts of parallel processing and is majorly used for graphics rendering. Although, with leaps in technology, GPUs have evolved from being just graphics processors to more sophisticated processors that can be used for various other scientific applications including parallel data processing, machine learning, advance game development and medical imaging.
What Is GPU ?
CPU and GPU when combined provide immense computing power as the CPU caters to serial processing while GPU caters to graphic and parallel processing. The term ‘GPU computing’ was coined to describe the use of the CPU+ GPU combination to enhance computing power and was initially pioneered by Nvidia. A large number of supercomputers in the world today rely on GPU computing for advanced scientific calculations.
- A GPU can handle large amounts of data in many streams.
- GPU’s have large numbers of ALU’s, more so than CPU’s. As a result, they can do large amounts of bulky mathematical labor in a greater quantity than CPU’s.
- GPU’s consist hundreds of cores which can handle various threads at a time in respect to CPU which have only few cores with lots of cache memory that can handle a few software threads only.
- Now GPU’s don’t limit them up to graphical things they can be used anywhere.
- Nvidia CUDA, the first true GPGPU which basically, is a way to use the GPU(s) on a video card as general-use supplemental processors.
- Some of the fastest supercomputers in the world rely on GPUs to advance scientific discoveries.
- GPUs are capable of performing vector operations and floating-point arithmetic, with the latest cards capable of manipulating double-precision floating-point numbers.
- GPU execution units can’t deal with branching efficiently.
- GPU execution units don’t support hardware interrupts in the same way CPUs do.
- It lacks Virtual Memory.
- GPU’s depreciate fast as compared to CPU’s.
Today GPUs are used everywhere, right from mobile phones to game consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation. Tesla, Quadro and GeForce are some popular GPUs manufactured by Nvidia.