Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

pp 844-844

GPU

  • Luca LombardiAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Engineering and Systems Science, University of Pavia Email author 
  • , Piercarlo DondiAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Engineering and Systems Science, University of Pavia

Synonyms

Visual processing unit (VPU)

Definition

A Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) is a specialized processor dedicated to the creation of the images visualized on the screen. It implements a set of the most frequently used graphics primitive operations, so as the CPU is not involved in the time-expensive graphical computation. GPUs, originally designed for personal computers, are currently used in many other kinds of devices, such as mobile phones, games consoles, tablets, or embedded systems. In a PC a GPU can be included as a standalone graphic card (usually in the mid-high-level solutions) or embedded in the motherboard (in low-level models). Finally, at the end of 2010, CPUs with integrated GPU were released: a solution particularly efficient to reduce communication times among the processors and to limit battery consumption in mobile devices (as notebooks or netbooks).

Cross-References

High-Performance Computing, Structural Biology

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