Graphics processing unit (GPU) also known as visual processing unit is a computer chip that performs mathematical calculations rapidly, for the purpose of rendering images. The term GPU was coined by Nvidia Corporation in 1999, which was later also named ‘visual processing unit’ by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in 2002. It creates lighting effects and supports in transforming objects for a 3D scene. The transformation contains mathematically intensive tasks, thus supports in reducing the strain on central processing unit (CPU). The GPU is composed of hundreds of cores which can handle thousands of threads simultaneously whereas CPU is comprised of few cores with cache memory, limiting its ability to handle multiple threads at the same time. GPUs are located on plug-in cards, in a chipset on the motherboard or in same chip as CPU. The GPUs located in stand-alone cards contain their own RAM whereas in chipset they share main memory with CPU. GPUs use transistors to perform mathematical calculations pertaining to the 3D graphics. Recent GPUs include support for programmable shaders to manipulate vertices and textures, further enhancing high precision color spaces during displaying 3D graphics.
Rising number of heavy graphic games is the major factor driving the growth of the GPU market. These heavy graphic games require high memory graphic cards, thus driving the growth of GPU market. Rising adoption of portable computing devices such as laptops is also supporting the growth of the GPU market across the world. Rise in demand for animation based games such as FIFA and Need for Speed and growth in adoption of virtual reality headsets are anticipated to provide immense opportunities for the GPU market in coming years. Growth of mobile based gaming and declining demand for desktops is expected to restrain the growth of GPU market across the world.
GPU market is broadly segmented on the basis of type, application, end-use, and geography. On the basis of type, the GPU market is segmented into discrete, integrated and Hybrid GPUs whereas on the basis of application, the GPU market is segmented into desktop and laptops. Discrete GPU refers to the GPUs having their own RAM whereas integrated GPUs utilize a portion of computer’s RAM for its operations. Hybrid GPUs share the computer memory and even contain some dedicated cache memory for the operations. Furthermore, on the basis of end use the GPU market is segmented into residential and commercial. Moreover, on the basis of geographies, the global GPU market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA) and South America. North America is expected to lead in terms of adoption of GPUs due to the presence of large sized gaming developers such as Electronic Arts Inc. and Activision in the region. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in terms of adoption of GPUs due to rising popularity of gaming and animation amongst the large sized youth population in the region.
The major participants in the global GPU market include NVIDIA Corporation, 3DLabs Inc., Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Inc., Broadcom Corporation, ARM Limited, Imagination Technologies Group Plc, Intel Corporation, Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd., Qualcomm Inc., Vivante Corporation, Silicon Integrated Systems Corporation and VIA Technologies Inc.
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