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Apple-Backed Imagination Technologies Announces PowerVR SGX545 Mobile Graphics Chip

Imagination Technologies today announced the launch of its PowerVR SGX545 graphics IP core, a new, high-end addition to the company's SGX series already used in the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch. In comparison to the SGX535 used in Apple's current handheld devices, the new SGX545 offers a number of enhancements, including increased performance of 40 million polygons per second (up from 28 million in the SGX535).

Says Tony King-Smith, VP Marketing, Imagination: "Combining our many years of experience in the embedded, mobile and PC-based DirectX graphics worlds, POWERVR SGX 545 takes the possibilities of hand-held graphics to a new level by delivering a full DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.x feature set as well as delivering GPU powered OpenCL heterogeneous parallel processing capabilities for the mobile and embedded markets. This makes POWERVR SGX545 a compelling solution for application processor SoC designers targeting the next generation of netbook and MID mobile products demanding exceptional graphics capabilities."

Imagination Technologies notes that the design has proven in test chips and has already been "licensed by a lead partner." While the partner is unnamed, Apple was revealed as a licensee and investor in Imagination Technologies in late 2008, and raised its stake in the company a few months later, signaling a strong interest in Imagination Technologies' product pipeline.

The PowerVR SGX545 combined with the Dual Core Cortex A9 ARM processor could be an alternative Apple Tablet option to the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform released yesterday. It's not clear how this combination would compare to the NVIDIA solution in both performance and battery life.