Multi-Core GPUs Announced from iPhone Chip Maker

Imagination Technologies announced further details of their first multi-core embedded graphics chip called POWERVR SGX543MP this week. The Register explains that the multi-core support in the new chips is essentially transparent to application developers:

In other words, the SGX543 can have any number of cores from two to sixteen with no change in the driver software or the application. All that complex data/pipeline/thread management is done in hardware. No muss, no fuss.

The Register then makes a questionable leap that this could power an Apple Tablet. Still, Apple's interest in the technology seems certain as they are a licensee and investor of Imagination Technologies and currently uses the company's PowerVR chip in the iPhone and iPod Touch.

According to the press release, the new chips are being delivered to customers in two-core and 16-core variants and appear to incorporate support for OpenGL and OpenCL. While Apple has not announced any new hardware revisions to the iPhone, many believe that the next generation iPhone will likely be released alongside the public release of the iPhone 3.0 firmware this summer.