I, and of course you, know the public meaning of "cross section" but I could not understand its meaning in the following sentence: "GPUs offer high computational power but require high scheduling strain to manage parallel processes, which increases the GPU cross section." Could you explain what does "cross section" mean here? Thank you.

  • 1
    GPU: Graphic Processor Unit is something like CPU which does graphic jobs in your computer(say graphic card). Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 13:58
  • A CPU is arranged to handle single-operand instructions such as 24+78. A GPU is arranged to handle arrays or matrices of data, such as adding this set of 1000 values to that set of 1000 values, yielding 1000 results. Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 16:16
  • This is a very good question. I believe I can comprehend the whole sentence, but not the particular meaning of "cross-section" here. Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


cross-section in this cases I think means the amount of memory,power,and bandwidth the GPU is allotted to perform operations in comparison to the total unit of tasks the I/O scheduler is tasked with balancing at a time. The I/O scheduler must analyze all tasks and accordingly multitask operations to maintain a certain lvl of quality performance. GPU utilizes parallel task programming to accelerate the rendering of images.In order to assure effectiveness GPU increases the probability I/O scheduler will prioritize GPU processes. This increases the number of GPU tasks in a faster sequence; increasing the total number of tasks.the I/O scheduler is strained to handle the larger volume efficiently

I think it is confusing because you have the I/O scheduling and the GPU operations fitting (on differnt lvls) a mix of "cross section" definitions: the informal definition:A variety, a diversity; the statistical definition: a sample meant to be representative of a whole;the physics definition: measure of the probability, expressed as the effective area of a given particle interaction/reaction; geometric definition: a cut made into a solid shape/form axis by a line/plane at a 90 degree angle.

  • Hi joeshmosan, and welcome to ELU. I'm glad you understand this concept, because I sure don't! Thanks for your helpful answer. :) Since you're here, if you haven't done so, please have a look at the site tour and visit the help center to introduce you to this site. Again, welcome! Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 22:25
  • @medica Cheers!
    – joeshmosan
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 3:16

As written we should interpret this as "high computation power increases the GPU cross section." I cannot make sense of this.

However, if we assume there was a grammatical or typographical error:

GPUs offer high computational power but require high scheduling strain to manage parallel processes, which increase the GPU cross section.

...then I would interpret the sentence as "parallel processes increase the GPU cross section." This makes a little more sense. It explains why you use a GPU (greater cross section -- greater number of operations built into one) despite the scheduling strain.

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