Imagination Technologies Releases Details on Next-Generation GPU for iOS Devices

imaginationApple has long used Imagination Technologies' graphics processing unit (GPU) technology in its iOS devices, currently utilizing the company's PowerVR SGX543MP2 in the A5 system-on-a-chip found in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

Last June, Imagination Technologies announced that the first six licensees for the next-generation Series6 family had signed on with the company, and while Apple was not explicitly named as one of the licensees, it has been presumed to be involved given the long-standing partnership that has even seen Apple take a financial stake in Imagination.

Imagination has now revealed new details (via The Verge) on the upcoming Series6 family, touting performance improvements of 20x or more for the G6400 and G6200, the first two members of the family.

Based on a scalable number of compute clusters the PowerVR Rogue architecture is designed to target the requirements of a growing range of demanding markets from mobile to the highest performance embedded graphics including smartphones, tablets, PC, console, automotive, DTV and more. Compute clusters are arrays of programmable computing elements that are designed to offer high performance and efficiency while minimising power and bandwidth requirements. The first PowerVR Series6 cores, the G6200 and G6400, have two and four compute clusters respectively.

Delivering the best performance in both GFLOPS/mm2 and GFLOPS/mW, PowerVR Series6 GPUs can deliver 20x or more of the performance of current generation GPU cores targeting comparable markets. This is enabled by an architecture that is around 5x more efficient than previous generations.

The press release notes that all Series6 GPU designs will support Apple-backed graphics APIs such as OpenGL ES "Haiti", OpenGL 3.x/4.x, and OpenCL 1.x for maximum performance. Previous reports of Series6-based GPU technology being licensed by ST-Ericsson have cited the capability to push 350 million polygons per second, compared to the nearly 70 million polygons per second achievable with the dual-core SGX543MP2 currently used by Apple.

Top Rated Comments

guzhogi Avatar
119 months ago


People that are excited about this just need to get out more often.

Hey everyone, go outside! The graphics are amazing!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djrod Avatar
119 months ago
Wow, just wow
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nickn Avatar
119 months ago


People that are excited about this just need to get out more often.
What kind of stupid comment is that? You do realize this is a tech website, correct?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HarryKeogh Avatar
119 months ago
Can't wait for the demo of Infinity Blade 3.

swipe, swipe, ooooh pretty, swipe swipe.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OrangeSVTguy Avatar
119 months ago
Sounds pretty good for the iPad 3 and it's doubled resolution.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
holmesf Avatar
119 months ago
Imagination Technologes purchased Caustic Graphics in 2010 for real time raytracing. It would be cool if this is standard functionality in future PowerVR architecture.
Won't happen in the next 5 years. Might not happen in the next 10 either. It's just too hard to justify using Ray Tracing in real time. A basic RT setup will get you reflections, refractions, hard shadows, and maybe funny shaped camera lenses. Do those effects matter that much? Certainly not enough to justify the huge engineering effort and performance hit they'll come with. And not when they can be faked pretty well with raster graphics in most cases. If you want more advanced effects like accurate depth-of-field, soft shadows, and global illumination you need to do distribution or monte-carlo ray tracing, which is so vastly expensive it won't even be possible with hardware acceleration. Rasterized graphics can fake this OK, and do it at a reasonable speed, so it's not likely that RT will make much sense in the next decade.

Ray Tracing does have the advantage that its cost is not very sensitive to geometric complexity. But its cost is very, very sensitive to the number of pixels and degree of anti-aliasing used. For that reason maybe RT will emerge as a real time method once we stop demanding higher and higher resolutions in our devices (because we've surpassed the eye already) and can no longer get improved image quality out of raster graphics.

Source: Me, I'm a Grad student in Computer Graphics.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
steam apple logo

Valve Ordered to Give Apple Information on 436 Steam Games As Part of Epic Games Legal Case

Thursday February 25, 2021 1:50 am PST by
Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case. As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that...
scott forstall original iphone

Epic Games 'Attempting to Locate' Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall to Testify in Ongoing Legal Battle with Apple

Tuesday February 23, 2021 4:22 am PST by
As part of its ongoing legal battle, Epic Games is now seeking testimony from Apple's former iOS software chief, Scott Forstall. Forstall left Apple in 2013, in what was widely reported at the time to have been a forced exit, largely because of the botched early launch of Apple Maps. Since then, Forstall has kept a very low profile and has only made a few media appearances in the past few...