Do you know what CUDA and OpenCL stand for and how they could make your computer 50 times faster? If so, you can safely jump to the “Ending the mess” section below. Otherwise read on for a gentle introduction.
A computer has two important processing units: the CPU and GPU. Think of them as the two brothers in Rain Man. The GPU is the ultimate autistic savant. He’s really, really good at counting stuff and doing a lot of complex math at the same time.
The CPU is your regular guy. He can do all kinds of stuff that the savant can’t. He goes along well with everybody, as long as they speak English. If he learns to take advantage of the savant, the two of them can do amazing things like count cards at Poker.
In other words, the GPU is natural at some operations that involve repetitive calculations, like those necessary for drawing 3D graphics and doing basic image manipulation.
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