A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a type of electronic circuit, a programmable logic chip or processor specially designed and optimized to perform mathematical computations rapidly to manipulate and alter images.
A GPU is optimized for display functions. It renders images, animations, videos, and gaming for the computer's screen. It is vital for rendering and smooth decoding 3D animations and videos. It performs parallel operations on multiple sets of data. It is increasingly used as a vector processor for non-graphics applications that require repetitive computations.
GPUs are found on plug-in cards in a chipset of the motherboard or in the same chip as the central processing unit (CPU) in a desktop computer. A GPU includes its own memory random access memory (RAM) in stand-alone cards, while GPUs in the chipset or CPU chip share main memory with the CPU.
CPUs vs GPUs As Fast As Possible
25 March 2016
How GPUs Work
David Luebke and Greg Humphreys
Introduction to GPU Architecture