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iOS 9 Game Development Essentials by Chuck Gaffney

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What are shaders?

GPUs first came into use because of none other than the video game industry. Arcade cabinets in the 1970's had GPU chips separate from the main CPU to handle the specialized visual needs of the games compared with other computing applications at the time. Eventually, the need to draw 3D graphics in games in the mid-1990's led to the modern GPU architecture we have now. Shaders were actually first introduced in 1988 by Pixar back when the company was run by Apple's cofounder Steve Jobs. Shaders are little programs we can write directly to the GPU to process the vertex and pixel data. Originally, APIs such as OpenGL ES 1.0 didn't make use of shader processing but instead were what's known as fixed-function APIs. In fixed-function ...

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