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What do icons on the tags mean?

I'm not sure if this is a very recent change, but I have noticed that some of the tags I follow (CUDA, GPU and GPGPU) have the NVIDIA logo applied to them.

While for CUDA this is of course completely reasonable, it seems a bit much to me to apply this to GPU and GPGPU. Even though my hardware of choice is NVIDIA and has been for years, I do acknowledge the existence of AMD and their contributions in this area.

I have found some information on sponsored tags. Is it the case that NVIDIA is sponsoring these particular tags? (Clicking on the tags does reveal some "sponsored links") If so, is the possible competition taken into account when it comes to sponsoring? Or is it simply first come, first served?


Given @Balpha's comment on this question, should the NVIDIA icon still be part of the tag? Or should it be removed there as well? After all, the comment states:

icons on tags only are allowed if the sponsor "owns" the tag.

  • I would think that, instead of "First come, first served", the deciding factor is more like "He who pays more wins".
    – cdeszaq
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:45
  • @cdeszaq Haha, true. Although I'm not so sure that this is the final outcome of an outright bidding war. :)
    – Bart
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:46
  • @kiamlaluno That's a possible duplicate of Robert's comment.... ;) But yeah, you're right.
    – Bart
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:55
  • @Bart I didn't write the comment; I simply voted to close the question, and the comment has been automatically created. Robert Harvey didn't vote to close the question, or the question would have been already closes, as he is a moderator here.
    – apaderno
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:57
  • Ah yeah, should have thought of that.
    – Bart
    Mar 27, 2012 at 22:02
  • See the last paragraph of this answer: meta.stackexchange.com/a/104757/160599
    – hammar
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:04
  • 2
    @hammar Noted, though at the end it states "element #3 is only available to the tag sponsor if they are the owner of the name or trademark associated with the tag name or, if no actual owner, an entity that is clearly highly associated with such tag". Question then becomes if (in what is essentially a two-player market) the "clearly highly associated" applies.
    – Bart
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:06
  • @bart - We discussed this internally and felt that "clearly highly associated" was applicable in this instance. For example, if you visit: nvidia.com/page/corporate_timeline.html and go to the year 1999, the header is "Nvidia invents the GPU". We felt they gave proof that was strong enough to get their logo on the tag. Oct 1, 2012 at 20:14
  • @DannyMiller Really? You went to Nvidia's website as the primary source of information? Anyway, yes, Nvidia was first with a dedicated GPU in 1999, ATI not following much later with their Radeon line. And true, 3dfx only had an accelerator before that. I don't know though. Something about it irks me. Even if I'm an Nvidia guy. But if that is the motivator of the decision, perhaps write it up in an answer so it can be accepted.
    – Bart
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:19
  • @ChrisF Yeah, I saw that one, though this particular discussion has turned into "is the association strong enough?" due to a comment on another linked question.
    – Bart
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:50
  • This question is more specific than the marked duplicate, and has an answer explaining the specific reasoning in this case. Oct 25, 2013 at 19:50
  • Yeah @Mechanicalsnail, but the accepted answer from an SE employee is pretty definite, and linking in that particular question is not a bad thing for someone stumbling on this. I don't particularly mind.
    – Bart
    Oct 25, 2013 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


We at Stack Exchange do not take tag sponsorships lightly.

After doing significant research on the subject (not just visiting Nvidia's website), we felt their was clear information that Nvidia coined the term GPU (their competitor used VPU) and that Mark Harris, a Nvidia employee, coined the term GPGPU.

As per Jeff's answer in this thread: Should tags that represent concepts be sponsorable?, we decided to allow these sponsorships as we felt they met the definition of "clearly highly associated".

  • So in that sense AMD/ATI could never have claimed these specific tags with regards to the icon?
    – Bart
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:44
  • @bart If they had compelling proof as to why they should, we would certainly hear them out. In this case, it was first come - first served. Oct 1, 2012 at 20:50
  • Okay, fair enough. And in the end it's really up to SO/SE what to do with their tags of course. Whether I completely agree or not. Just needed some clarification based on an earlier comment. Thanks for your input.
    – Bart
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:52
  • 4
    Excuse me, but I find your bottom two paragraphs contradict the top one. Suppose IBM had coined the term CPU (in fact, maybe it has, I dunno); would you let them put their logo on the CPU tag? Of course not, it's not "theirs". GPU and GPGPU are not "NVidia's concepts", and your choice to allow them to mark these concepts as their territory seems like catering to their, shall we say, somewhat solipsist attitude.
    – einpoklum
    Oct 25, 2013 at 20:06

NVIDIA did coin the term "GPU" with the GeForce 256. Though it was quickly back-ported onto pretty much every graphics card before the GeForce 256 or sense. Nowadays, it's synonymous with "graphics chip"; it doesn't have any direct association with NVIDIA.

Personally, I don't think they should be able to have it. Also, GPGPU has even less association with NVIDIA, since that stuff was talked about pretty much the moment shaders hit the scene. It's no more associated with NVIDIA than OS is associated with Microsoft.

Personally, the way I see "clearly highly associated" is this: if that company were to implode tomorrow, what would be the drop in questions on that tag? If it's more than 50%, then they should probably have the tag. It's hard to argue that NVIDIA going away would significantly effect the number of questions about GPUs.

  • 6
    That is exactly my feeling as well. They are by now such generic terms that the "clearly highly associated" does not really apply IMO. At least not in the sense that the thought of GPU (or even less so GPGPU) leads to Nvidia only.
    – Bart
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:23
  • 2
    Is there a further discussion on this topic? I like Nvidia cards but the general tags gpu and gpgpu should not have that logo. I think this a company logo is only right for tags about their products like cuda and of course the company name itself, nvidia.
    – danijar
    Jun 17, 2013 at 8:42

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