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Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 by Jack Hoxley, Matt Pettineo, Jason Zink

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5 The Computation Pipeline

5.1 Introduction

Throughout the book up to this point, we have seen how the new features of Direct3D 11 can be used to perform extremely flexible rendering operations. However, there is yet another pipeline stage available for performing flexible computations that can be applied to a wider range of applications. This allows the GPU to be used in such diverse applications as ray tracing and physical simulations, and in some cases, it can even be used for artificial intelligence calculations. Of course, this pipeline stage is the compute shader stage, and it represents the implementation of a technology often referred to as DirectCompute. DirectCompute provides the first steps to adding a general-purpose processing paradigm ...

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