Imagination Technologies Announces PowerVR Series6XT Successor to Apple's A7 Chip Graphics

Imagination Technologies yesterday announced a new Series6XT generation of its PowerVR graphics architecture, representing a successor to the Series6 graphics used in Apple's A7 chip for the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini.

Series6XT cores achieve up to a 50% performance increase on the latest industry standard benchmarks compared to equivalent configurations of previous generation cores. And with a significant increase in raw GFLOPS, Series6XT delivers the industry’s best performance in both GFLOPS/mm2 and GFLOPS/mW.

powervr_series6xt_roadmap
Apple currently uses Imagination's quad-core G6430 graphics in the A7, and the new Series6XT architecture brings a GX6450 model as a direct successor with potential for inclusion in future Apple A-series chips. But as noted by AnandTech, typical lead times on moving from licensing announcement to consumer availability suggest that these new graphics options may not appear in shipping chips until the latter half of 2015.

Series6XT is designed to be a moderate feature upgrade and power/performance optimization pass for Series6, integrating various innovations over the past couple of years to keep Imagination’s designs performance and feature competitive. Series6XT comes 2 years after Series6 licensing was announced at CES 2012, and roughly half a year after the first SoCs implementing Series6 GPUs were released to consumers.

Apple has used versions of PowerVR graphics throughout its history of iOS device chip development, leading all the way back to the original iPhone in 2007. In line with Apple's preference for Imagination's graphics offerings, Apple has been a leading investor in the graphics company for some time, making several purchases that pushed its ownership stake in Imagination to nearly 10% by mid-2009.

Top Rated Comments

Twimfy Avatar
127 months ago
PowerVR, sounds like a cheap 90s live action super hero series.

PowerVR has been around since the early 90's. Maybe 90's live action super hero series sound like a graphics chip.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
127 months ago
Series 6 was a major IP shift. 6XT is comparatively much more modest. I'd compare it to SGX540, 545, 554 being added to the series 5 line after the 535 already existed. Their times to market were shorter.

554 announce to market for Apple's Ipad was 22 months. Though unlikely, I wouldn't totally rule out an Apple A8 with a 6XT graphics IP block in it.

It's important to remember that Apple is around a 10% owner in ImgTec. If anyone has early IP access, it's them.

edit: Most importantly, G6430 announce to A7 inclusion: 15 months.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
127 months ago
50% increase from current chip huh ? well thats gonna help power the bigger display and new screen res for the iphone 6 :D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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