This is cool! About 7 years ago after seeing what the original 3dFx Voodoo card could do, I was inspired to think about what would be possible in gaming as GPUs offloaded more and more work from the main processor. I was focused more on what to do with those free cycles on the CPU, but more recently have been wondering how GPUs could be harnessed for something other than direct to screen output, like various forms of image processing, compression, etc. GPGPU.org is focused on this topic, with a pointer to an article I intend to read.
“This article by Michael Macedonia in IEEE Computer magazine discusses current trends in general purpose computation on GPUs. Excerpt: ‘The Siggraph/Eurographics Graphics Hardware 2003 workshop, held in San Diego, will likely be remembered as a turning point in modern computing. In one of those rare moments when a new paradigm visibly begins changing general-purpose computing’s course, what has traditionally been a graphics-centric workshop shifted its attention to the nongraphics applications of the graphics processing unit.'”