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Definition: specialized processor


A chip or integrated circuit within a system-on-chip (SoC) that is one of the processing components in a computer or mobile device. A specialized processor is designed to perform multiple operations on a particular set of data.

For example, an image processor captures a photo or video. A digital signal processor compresses and decompresses audio and video. An AI processor supports neural networks, and a graphics processing unit (GPU) renders images on screen. Contrast with the central processing unit (CPU), which performs an endless variety of tasks. In fact, the CPU can also do the same functions as a specialized processor, only at a fraction of the speed. See CPU, image processing, DSP, AI engine and GPU.




Snapdragon System-on-Chip
This Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm is an example of an SoC with multiple specialized processors. See SoC, Snapdragon and Qualcomm.