Chapter 1. The Graphics Rendering Pipeline

If this is your first approach to shader technology, you should know a few things before we start writing GLSL code. The differences between the usual CPU architecture and a GPU are big enough to warrant mentioning them.

When you programmed applications in the past, you were aware of the underlying hardware: it has a CPU, an ALU, and memory (both volatile or for massive storage) and certain types of I/O devices (keyboard, screen, and so on). You also knew that your program would run sequentially, one instruction after another (unless you use multithreading, but that is not the point). When programming shaders, they will be running in an isolated unit called GPU, which has a very different architecture ...

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