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
129 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
129 months ago
So thats the A6 sorted then.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
makingdots Avatar
129 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
129 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
129 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
129 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)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...