Compute, in modern computing, refers to activities, applications or workloads that require more processing resources than its memory or I/O resource requirements. Generally speaking, compute is used to describe concepts and objects geared towards computation and processing.
For example, CPUs, APUs and GPUs are considered compute resources while graphics processing applications like 3-D rendering and video games are described as compute-intensive applications.
Compute is frequently encountered in modern computing concepts like cloud computing and big data, used to refer to resources being used or served up in the server and data center spaces. In utility computing as in cloud computing and big data, resources that are used to process data are called compute resources that are provided by CPUs working together in clusters. Compute resources are essentially time slice tickets given to those clients that need it so that they can have access to the allocated CPUs in the system.
The partners of compute resource are memory resource, storage resource, network resource and I/O resource. All computing activities need a combination of the above with compute being one of the most important and omnipresent in any activity.