KDE Plasma 5 refers to the latest iteration of the desktop environment created by KDE primarily for Linux systems. KDE Plasma 5 is the successor of KDE Plasma 4 and was initially released on July 15, 2014. It includes a new default theme, known as "Breeze", as well as increased convergence across different devices.
KDE Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. Plasma 5.0 improves support for HiDPI displays and ships a converged graphical shell, able to switch between the shells for different target devices. It includes a new default theme, known as Breeze. Changes under the hood include the migration to a new, fully hardware-accelerated graphics stack centered around an OpenGL(ES)-based scene graph (canvas).
Plasma 5 completes the migration of KDE Plasma 4 to QtQuick. Qt 5's QtQuick 2 uses a hardware-accelerated OpenGL(ES) scenegraph to compose and render graphics on the screen, which allowed for offloading of computationally expensive graphics rendering tasks onto the GPU which frees up resources on the system's main central processing unit, and is faster and more power-efficient. Internal changes in the graphics compositor and underlying Frameworks prepare support for running on Wayland, which is planned for an upcoming release.