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'PowerVR' Articles

Future iPhones Could Support 4K Graphics and Much Faster Gaming With PowerVR Furian

Imagination Technologies today announced PowerVR Furian, its next-generation GPU architecture that promises significant improvements in graphics performance and power efficiency that could benefit future iPhones. PowerVR Furian architecture will offer up to a 70-90% improvement in real-world gaming performance by density, including 35% better shader performance and 80% better fill rate, compared to a similar sized and clocked Series7XT Plus GPU based on current-generation PowerVR Rogue architecture. Meanwhile, with lower power consumption, an iPhone with PowerVR Furian architecture could have longer battery life for graphics-related tasks. Imagination Technologies confirmed to MacRumors that PowerVR Furian architecture supports 4K graphics, laying the foundation for future iPhone models to support higher-resolution gaming and other graphics-intensive tasks such as augmented or virtual reality and machine learning.“We created Furian to address a new class of emerging applications, with a focus on efficient scalability that will extend to multiple generations of PowerVR IP cores. We’re excited to start rolling out the first 8XT IP cores based on Furian. These cores will further cement the leadership of PowerVR at the high end of mobile performance.”Apple's graphics chip in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is a custom-designed version of the Series7XT Plus, and many earlier iPhone models are also based on PowerVR Rogue architecture, so it is reasonable to assume that future iPhone models may use at least some of the PowerVR Furian architecture. Imagination

Apple's Custom Mobile Chip Designs Gradually Expanding to Include Graphics Hardware

After years of recruiting graphics architects, Apple has gradually shifted from licensing PowerVR graphics to designing its own custom GPUs for iPhones, according to David Kanter at Real World Technologies. The new graphics processor is said to have first shipped with the A8 chip in the iPhone 6, with successive versions built into in the A9 and A10 Fusion chips powering the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 lineups respectively. For context, Kanter said a modern GPU has three major components that work together in harmony to render graphics:The first is the fixed-function graphics hardware, which is responsible for tasks like processing API commands, triangle rasterization, and raster output. The second is the shader core, which is the heart of the GPU and executes programmable shaders (e.g., vertex, geometry, pixel, and compute shaders). Last, the graphics driver is the software that runs on the CPU and ties everything together, coordinating the activities of the GPU. The driver transforms graphics applications written in the Metal or OpenGL ES APIs into a series of commands for the fixed-function hardware and programmable shaders that execute on the shader cores.Apple previously relied on PowerVR chipmaker Imagination Technologies to supply fixed-function graphics hardware, shader cores, and drivers for older-generation iPhones, but Kanter said Apple has since replaced the programmable shader cores with its own more efficient and higher performance design, and developed its own driver and compiler to emit code for its architecture. While Apple's GPU architecture has

Apple in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire GPU Supplier Imagination Technologies [Update: No]

Apple is reportedly in "advanced talks" to acquire British microchip designer Imagination Technologies, according to The Verge this morning. The information is said to come from "a source with knowledge of the discussions". When asked for comment, Imagination Technologies refused to deny the planned takeover. The report follows the UK firm's announcement just last week that it was making additional cuts to its business as part of a significant restructuring program, which saw 350 jobs axed in the process. Imagination traditionally supplies the PowerVR graphics architecture found in Apple's range of iPhones and iPads. Apple has been a licensee and stakeholder in the company since at least 2008, and became a key investor in mid-2009 when it raised its stake in the firm to 10 percent. In 2014, Imagination announced an extended licensing agreement with Apple. Imagination Technologies currently has a market capitalization of around £500 million ($714.5 million). The acquisition, if confirmed, would likely mean Apple could design future graphics architecture for its iOS devices in-house. Update 8:25 AM: Apple tells CNBC it "did hold some talks" with Imagination but does not intend to make an offer to acquire it. Despite earlier reports, Apple says it doesn't plan to make an offer to buy Imagination Tech. but it did hold some talks with the company.— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 22, 2016 Update 8:31 AM: Apple's full statement has been published by the London Stock Exchange.From time to time, Apple talks with companies about potential acquisitions. We had some

Apple GPU Supplier Imagination Technologies Announces Cuts Amid Slowing iPhone Sales

British microchip designer and major Apple supplier Imagination Technologies announced additional cost cuts this morning, following a significant restructuring program unveiled by the UK firm only last month. The company, which supplies the PowerVR graphics architecture in Apple's iPhones and iPads, said it would reduce its cost base by an additional £12.5 million ($18 million) by April 2017, on top of the £15 million in cost cuts announced in February. Two hundred staff now face redundancy as a result, adding to the 150 job cuts announced last month. Tough trading conditions and a slowdown in iPhone shipment growth is said to be behind the decision, after the company posted an operating loss for the year to the end of April. "This swift and decisive action will put us back on a sound financial footing and will enable us to have the necessary resources to further strengthen our three core businesses," the company's interim chief executive Andrew Heath said in a statement. "The ongoing operational review will identify clearly where we need to focus, building on our current strengths and allocating the right capital to ensure growth and attractive returns." Imagination Technologies has reported financial difficulties for several years, despite repeated expectations that iPhone sales would boost its revenues. Shares dropped 10 percent last year when the company reported a first-half loss, and nosedived as much as 18 percent when the restructure was announced in February. The company has also put its digital radio business Pure up for sale. Apple has been

iPad Air 2's A8X Chip Includes Semi-Custom Series6XT Graphics With Eight Cores

New details have come to light regarding the iPad Air 2's graphics processing power since its launch last month, with a new report from AnandTech revealing the new tablet's graphics are even more powerful than previously thought. Benchmarks and teardowns on the tablet revealed details on the inner workings of the iPad Air 2 in the days following its launch, but a new image of the A8X die provided to AnandTech reveals the layout of the Apple-designed chip. The die photo shows the A8X includes eight-core graphics, even larger than the 6-core GX6650 graphics from Imagination Technologies previously assumed to be in the chip.To get right down to business then, the die shot confirms what we had begun suspecting: that A8X has an 8 cluster Series6XT configuration. All 8 GPU clusters are clearly visible, and perhaps unsurprisingly it looks a lot like the GPU layout of the GX6450. To put it in words, imagine A8’s GX6450 with another GX6450 placed right above it, and that would be the A8X’s 8 cluster GPU.AnandTech was unable to share the source's actual image of the die, but Chipworks has just provided MacRumors with a similar image showing the eight graphics cores taking up a substantial portion of the A8X's die. The photo also shows the new triple-core CPU and a number of other features included on the chip. A8X die photo from Chipworks Uncertainty over the A8X graphics stems from Imagination's public list of Series6XT graphics offerings, which tops out with the 6-core GX6650, but the new die photo reveals that Apple has employed a semi-custom design essentially pairing two

Apple's New A6X iPad Chip Adopts PowerVR SGX 554MP4 Graphics

AnandTech reports on an examination of the A6X chip found in the fourth-generation iPad. The work, performed by Kishonti Informatics, reveals that Apple has adopted Imagination Technologies' quad-core PowerVR SGX 554MP4 graphics in the new chip.The A6X retains the 128-bit wide memory interface of the A5X (and it keeps the memory controller interface adjacent to the GPU cores and not the CPU cores as is the case in the A5/A6). It also integrates two of Apple's new Swift cores running at up to 1.4GHz (a slight increase from the 1.3GHz cores in the iPhone 5's A6). The big news today is what happens on the GPU side. A quick look at the GLBenchmark results for the new iPad 4 tells us all we need to know. The A6X moves to a newer GPU core: the PowerVR SGX 554.Unsurprisingly, the SGX 554MP4 represents a significant improvement over the quad-core SGX 543MP4 used in the A5X chip of the third-generation iPad and the triple-core SGX 543MP3 used in the A6 chip of the iPhone 5. A full suite of graphics benchmarks reveals improvements of 15-100% compared to the third-generation iPad, with frame rates in the Egypt HD benchmark jumping from 25 frames per second (fps) on the third-generation iPad to nearly 52 fps on the fourth-generation iPad.Ultimately it looks like the A6X is the SoC that the iPad needed to really deliver good gaming performance at its native resolution. I would not be surprised to see more game developers default to 2048 x 1536 on the new iPad rather than picking a lower resolution and enabling anti-aliasing. The bar has been set for this generation and we've seen