A CDE Definition
Graphics hardware that performs various 2D and 3D geometry and rendering functions, offloading the main CPU from performing such tasks. This typically refers to a very high-end graphics subsystem, but may also refer to a graphics accelerator. See graphics accelerator.
An early graphics card (display adapter) that performed a specialized set of functions in hardware to render an image on screen. Today, all graphics cards have basic rendering functions built in, and many contain graphics processing units (GPUs) that are programmable, special-purpose processors. They move an image through a pipeline that performs a different graphics function simultaneously at each stage. For more details, see graphics pipeline and GPU.
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