Hardware and software built for a specific task (e.g. a DVE), not general purpose (computer). Purpose-built hardware was able to provide much improved processing speeds, between 10 and 100 fold, over systems using the same technology applied to general-purpose architecture and operating system software. This became important in image processing where tasks require a great deal of power, especially as the demands increase in proportion to the picture area – significant for working with HDTV and UHD.
However, as standard/general-purpose platforms continue to become ever more powerful, so it can make sense to swap out some purpose-built hardware, which tends to be more costly, for software solutions. This ability to swap is a part of Quantel’s generationQ to use GPUs to provide accelerated image processing.