GPUs: What are they?
Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) used to be for processing graphics for computer screens. Much of these processing was able to be carried out concurrently on small amounts of data. GPUs thus became capable of carrying out the same operations on different data at the same time - a known parallel processing pattern (the SIMD model). The jump was made to using the compute capability of GPUs to carry out not just processing of graphical information but of the main computation itself. This is what is currently know as GPGPU (general purpose GPU) programming, more commonly known now as just GPU programming.
Various vendors have product lines suitable for general purpose computing. Here's just a brief summary. Feel free to add and amend.
- Relevant NVIDIA product lines:
- Quadro - High end workstation graphics card
GeForce - Consumer graphics card
- Larrabee - potential for the future