The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is a specialized circuit designed to accelerate the image output in a frame buffer intended for output to a display.
GPUs are used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics and image processing. Their highly parallel structure makes them more efficient than general-purpose central processing units (CPUs) for algorithms that process large blocks of data in parallel.
Modern smartphones are equipped with advanced embedded chipsets that can do many different tasks depending on their programming. GPUs are an essential part of those chipsets and as mobile games are pushing the boundaries of their capabilities, the GPU performance is becoming increasingly important.
The term "GPU" was coined by Sony in reference to the PlayStation console's Toshiba-designed Sony GPU in 1994. The term was popularized by Nvidia in 1999, who marketed the GeForce 256 as "the world's first GPU". It was presented as a "single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines". Rival ATI Technologies coined the term "visual processing unit" or VPU with the release of the Radeon 9700 in 2002.