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Hardware acceleration is a technique in which a computer’s hardware is forced to perform faster than the standard computing architecture of a normal central processing unit (CPU). It is used with heavy computing tasks and operations, like graphics or video processing.
Hardware acceleration is forced and controlled by the program or software that requests extra computing power. For example, Mozilla Firefox supports and can initiate hardware acceleration for websites that are media-rich or have high definition (HD) graphics.
A hardware accelerator is a device that implements hardware acceleration and includes modern graphic and video cards.