In computing, hardware acceleration is the use of computer hardware to perform some function faster than is possible in software running on the general-purpose CPU. Examples of hardware acceleration include blitting acceleration functionality in graphics processing units (GPUs) and instructions for complex operations in CPUs. Normally, processors are sequential, and instructions are executed one by one. Various techniques are used to improve performance; hardware acceleration is one of them.
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Personal computer hardware
Personal computer hardware are the component devices that are the building blocks of personal computers. These are typically installed into a computer case, or attached to it by a cable or through a port. In the latter case, they are also referred to as peripherals.
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Fractal landscape
A fractal landscape is a surface generated using a stochastic algorithm designed to produce fractal behaviour that mimics the appearance of natural terrain. In other words, the result of the procedure is not a deterministic fractal surface, but rather a random surface that exhibits fractal behaviour. Many natural phenomena exhibit some form of statistical self-similarity that can be modeled by fractal surfaces.
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Shader
In the field of computer graphics, a shader is a computer program that is used primarily to calculate rendering effects on graphics hardware with a high degree of flexibility. Shaders are used to program the graphics processing unit (GPU) programmable rendering pipeline, which has mostly superseded the fixed-function pipeline that allowed only common geometry transformation and pixel-shading functions; with shaders, customized effects can be used.
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Level of detail
In computer graphics, accounting for level of detail involves decreasing the complexity of a 3D object representation as it moves away from the viewer or according other metrics such as object importance, eye-space speed or position. Level of detail techniques increases the efficiency of rendering by decreasing the workload on graphics pipeline stages, usually vertex transformations.
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Vector processor
A vector processor, or array processor, is a central processing unit (CPU) that implements an instruction set containing instructions that operate on one-dimensional arrays of data called vectors. This is in contrast to a scalar processor, whose instructions operate on single data items.
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Rendering (computer graphics)
Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model (or models in what collectively could be called a scene file), by means of computer programs. A scene file contains objects in a strictly defined language or data structure; it would contain geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading information as a description of the virtual scene.
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Fractal
A fractal is a mathematical set that has a fractal dimension that usually exceeds its topological dimension and may fall between the integers. Fractals are typically self-similar patterns, where self-similar means they are "the same from near as from far" Fractals may be exactly the same at every scale, or as illustrated in Figure 1, they may be nearly the same at different scales.
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