Imagination Technologies Starts Licensing Next Gen iPad/iPhone GPU

Imagination Technologies, the company behind the iPhone and iPad's PowerVR graphic processor unit (GPU), has announced that six "key partners" have already selected their next generation PowerVR Series 6 GPU (codename: Rogue) for licensing. The partners include ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, MediaTek as well as three "yet to be announced" licensees.

imagination
Apple has long used Imagination Technologies' GPUs to power their mobile devices and is likely one of the unnamed licensees. Besides being a major customer, Apple is also an investor in the company with ownership pegged at 9.5% back in 2009. The iPad 2 currently uses the PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU. Combined with the A5 processor, Apple claimed the iPad 2 has 9x faster graphics than the original model. This upcoming GPU is said to deliver another significant performance boost for mobile graphics.

The press release is devoid of any hard details and offers just some vague promises of future performance.

The POWERVR Series6 GPU family, which delivers unrivalled GFLOPS per mm2 and per mW for all APIs, delivers not only a clear technology advantage and exceptional roadmap, driven by one of the largest teams of graphics engineers in the world, but also an extensive ecosystem of third party developers which has created hundreds of thousands of apps optimised for POWERVR enabled devices to date.

The new graphics processor will be backward compatible with the PowerVR SGX GPU which presently powers the iPad and iPhone, so will be an easy transition in future models.

A few numbers were detailed back in February during Mobile World Congress. According to a press release from ST-Ericsson, the Series 6 PowerVR chip will push over 350 million "real" polygons per second when used in their Nova A9600 SOC. That particular chip is said to be "sampling" in 2011.

Based on the usual lead time for these announcements, it seems unlikely we'll see these new GPUs in Apple's products until 2012 at the earliest. This more powerful graphics processor may help support the additional pixels of the rumored "Retina" display in the next iPad.

Top Rated Comments

arn Avatar
166 months ago
So thats the A6 sorted then.

yep. since the A4 and A5 are package deals. processor + gpu + ram. If they upgrade the gpu, they'll have to upgrade the whole processing unit. So A6.

awrn
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talkingfuture Avatar
166 months ago
So thats the A6 sorted then.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
makingdots Avatar
166 months ago
The manufacturing lines don't exist yet. They are being built, but it takes many months of construction, followed by months of preproduction work to get a line up to speed, work out the kinks, improve yield to the point where they can generate a million units per month.

You are not going to see a tablet shipping in quantity with a Retina Display this year.

Fail. We can't tell if Apple is ready for it. Example is iPhone 4's retina display, how much do we know that Apple can mass produce those displays last year? If Gizmodo didn't get the prototype, we're clueless all along. The only rumor we know is that microscope thing. ;)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keihin Avatar
166 months ago
HiRez iPad at a Premium

Most of the discussion of a "retina" iPad assumes that the high rez screen would be a feature of the mainstream model. It seems entirely possible that the retina display would be featured on a premium, flagship model of the iPad, alongside a standard rez version. This would be similar to the way Apple has continued to market the older iPhone models. Pricing and availability of the premium iPad would be help Apple match demand to the availability of the new display components.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lesser Evets Avatar
166 months ago

All indications point to a complete lack of volume manufacturing capacity of a suitable Retina Display in the iPad size.

There aren't manufacturing lines that are pumping out these parts and I believe at least one manufacturer (Samsung?) has claimed that they were building suitable facilities later this year, which would indicate a functional manufacturing line sometime early next year.

You are talking today. I am talking tomorrow. The moment such a screen is fluidly manufactured, it will be used in mass-manufacture devices. That could happen anytime: the tech is designed and manufactured, it just needs stable mass-production.

As for Apple not changing "mid-stream", that is the most fatuous thing I've read. Apple has commonly disrupted (supposedly) regular, periodic updates for a variety of reasons. There is no reason to believe they can't do what they need or want to meet market demand or technical advancements.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
derek1984 Avatar
166 months ago
If people thought the craze for iPad 2 was bad, wait until this drops. I passed on iPad 1 and iPad 2. Waited intentionally for retina. They better make A LOT of these. Compeitition to get one when they first come out is going to be fierce.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....