Chapter 15. Programmable Pipeline: This Isn’t Your Father’s OpenGL

by Benjamin Lipchak

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER:

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Graphics hardware has traditionally been designed to quickly perform the same rigid set of hard-coded computations. Different steps of the computation can be skipped, and parameters can be adjusted; but the computations themselves remain fixed. That’s why this old paradigm of GPU design is called fixed functionality.

There has been a trend toward designing general-purpose graphics processors. Just like CPUs, these GPUs can be programmed with arbitrary sequences of instructions to perform virtually any imaginable computation. ...

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