Imagination Announces PowerVR Series7 Graphics, Likely Headed for Apple's 2015 iOS Devices

Imagination Technologies today announced the launch of its next-generation PowerVR Series7 graphics architecture, setting the stage for further improvements to the graphics used in Apple's iOS device lineup.
Series7XT and Series7XE GPUs achieve up to a 60% architectural performance increase on the latest industry standard benchmarks compared to equivalent configurations of previous generation PowerVR Series6XT/6XE GPUs, maintaining and extending PowerVR’s reputation as the most efficient, highest performance, lowest power GPU.
Of most interest to Apple users is the Series7XT family, which will be the successor to the Series6XT graphics used in Apple's latest A8-series chips. The new Series7XT family ranges from two to 16 shading clusters offering up to 512 cores of graphics processing power, giving developers the ability to include "console-quality effects" such as HDR and 4K rendering in their mobile apps.imagination_7xt_graphics_chart
- PowerVR GT7200: 2 shading clusters, 64 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7400: 4 shading clusters, 128 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7600: 6 shading clusters, 192 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7800: 8 shading clusters, 256 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7900: 16 shading clusters, 512 ALU cores
Apple currently uses quad-core GX6450 graphics in its A8 chip for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and more powerful six-core GX6650 graphics in the A8X chip found in the iPad Air 2.

imagination_7xt_6xt_table
Table adapted from AnandTech

PowerVR graphics architectures have typically taken on the order of 18 months from announcement of licensing to their appearance in products, but things moved much faster with the current Series6XT offerings. Those were announced in January at CES 2014 but made their way into Apple's A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus just eight months later, suggesting the new Series7XT graphics could appear in next year's A9 chips from Apple.

Imagination and Apple have worked closely together over the years, with Apple being a key investor in the graphics firm as it raised its stake to roughly 10 percent in mid-2009.

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68 months ago
My iPhone 6 is already feeling outdated.
Rating: 14 Votes
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68 months ago

It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.


...established IP companies don't generally drop new designs out of the blue and yell "Ready, set, GO!" They work closely with their biggest customers first.

Apple's A9/X team has likely been using a pre-final Series7XT design for a while now.
Rating: 11 Votes
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68 months ago

It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.


*sigh* You really need to learn to read all the way through the article. They stated the current PowerVR used in A8 was announced in January of 2014... 8 months from public announcement to Apple's announcement. They have even more time this time round.
Rating: 8 Votes
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68 months ago

It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.


Thanks for the update, Jony. :rolleyes:
Rating: 7 Votes
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68 months ago

What do we need all this power for?

No matter how complicated I make my 3D games in Unity, I still can't get the slightest hickup out of my iPhone 4S (granted, the most busy scene I've tried so far only has 700 triangles in it, but still, my game is approaching completion, it's beautiful, and it runs smooth as silk.)


Well, 700 polygons will probably run smooth on a calculator too.

Also, the amount of polygons isn't related to how good your game looks.
Rating: 6 Votes
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68 months ago
I would prefer more RAM and better wi fi signal.
Rating: 5 Votes
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68 months ago

What do we need all this power for?

No matter how complicated I make my 3D games in Unity, I still can't get the slightest hickup out of my iPhone 4S (granted, the most busy scene I've tried so far only has 700 triangles in it, but still, my game is approaching completion, it's beautiful, and it runs smooth as silk.)


3X Retina?
Rating: 4 Votes
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68 months ago

6S/6S Plus are going to rock.

My prediction:

A9 - remains dual core and gets another 50% boost in efficiency.
Camera: 16MP and a sensor/pixels sufficiently large to maintain current low light performance.
4K video @ 60fps
Full HD 240 fps slo-mo
Body: No more bendy 6 pluses. :P

Star of the show will be the camera.


With 16Gigs of storage on the base model of course, so as to hold precious few pics, and force the $100 upgrade.
Rating: 3 Votes
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68 months ago

My iPhone 6 is already feeling outdated.


Just bend it and take it back to the store. Then use a landline for 10 months until the next iPhone comes out :cool:
Rating: 3 Votes
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68 months ago
They were seeing 40-60% improvements in some standard benchmarks for similar cluster and clock configurations. Safe to say it will be a healthy bump, but not a monumental improvement. A7 to A8 GPU situation is comparable.
Rating: 2 Votes
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