CES 2012: Imagination Tech Brags Smartphone GPU is 20 Times as Fast
January 11, 2012 3:00 AM
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Core is "five times" as efficient as last-gen design, according to Imagination Tech.
Imagination Technologies Group Plc.'s (
) is a top seller in an increasingly packed mobile market, which includes Qualcomm, Inc.'s (
) Adreno GPU and NVIDIA Corp.'s (
) mobile GeForce derivatives. Imagination Tech. also competes with ARM Holdings, Plc. (
a somewhat interesting situation
, given that ARM also makes the CPUs that are typically paired with Imagination Tech.'s PowerVR core designs.
At CES 2012, ARM officials downplayed the "awkwardness" of this situation, insisting that it was a case of different strokes for different folks. Some prefered the convenience of licensing both ARM's ready made CPU and GPU intellectual property (IP) cores. Others prefered to build their own designs/build rival designs.
For those in the latter group, Imagination technologies dropped what they
will be a performance monster.
The company announced the Series6 with two core designs -- the PowerVR G6200 and G6400. The graphics maker claims to have somehow bumped its core efficiency 500 percent, for a total claimed game of 20x over rival core designs.
Imagination Tech. claims its chips to dominate in both GFLOPS/mm
(computing power per footprint) and GFLOPS/mW (computing power vs power consumption).
The chips support oodles of formats. Writes Imagination Tech. -- "All members of the Series6 family support all features of the latest graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 'Halti'*, OpenGL 3.x/4.x, OpenCL 1.x and DirectX10 with certain family members extending their capabilities to full WHQL-compliant DirectX11.1 functionality."
The company says to expect computing power to fall between the TeraFLOPS range and the 100s of GigaFLOPS range. Clearly between this substantial amount of computin power and the inclusion of DirectX 11.1 support,
Windows 8 devices
are primary targets.
It also says the new GPUs pack some fancy extra features, including:
an advanced scalable compute cluster architecture; high efficiency compression technology including lossless image and parameter compression and the widely respected PVRTC™ texture compression; an enhanced scheduling architecture; dedicated housekeeping processors; and a next generation Tile Based Deferred Rendering architecture. These features combine to produce a highly latency tolerant architecture that consumes the lowest memory bandwidth in the industry while delivering the best performance per mm2 and per mW.
The company brags that it now has over 90 licensees and has shipped over 600 million devices, to date. Apple, Inc. (
) is among Imagination Tech.'s core licensers, using the PowerVR cores in its iPhones.
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Something to brag about
1/11/2012 3:27:12 AM
They definitely have something to brag about if the claimed numbers are even remotely true. That's a massive efficiency gain in such a short time frame.
Anyone have any numbers on how this might compare to discrete GPUs in laptops/desktops? I imagine the performance gaps must be closing.
RE: Something to brag about
1/11/2012 3:41:30 AM
If you're talking fullsized the thereoticals are still teraflops slower even if it manages 1tflop, but this is thereotical performance we're talking about.
Compared to laptop chips it would be somewhere between middle to high end. imgtec seems more interested in efficiency so i get the feeling it'll end up along the lines of midrange chips in gigaflops, but with very high power efficiency. If they manage a teraflop and maintain current efficiency it would be amazing.
RE: Something to brag about
1/11/2012 1:33:35 PM
For comparison, the theoretical single precision performance of an ATI HD 4850 is rated at 1000 GFLOPS and an HD 6550D (at 600MHz) is rated at 480 GFLOPS.
Do to power and bus/memory bandwidth constraints, I seriously doubt these Imagination chips will get anywhere near that performance... though I'll be happy to be proven wrong.
RE: Something to brag about
1/11/2012 10:50:10 AM
These GPU's wont be out until 2013. And they're comparing it to current GPU's.
Later this year there will be the Adreno 3xx series and Mali 6xx series GPU's. Then of course there will be more GPU's from the competition in 2013 so these Series6 GPU's might not look all that impressive by the time you can actually get devices that use them
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