Core is "five times" as efficient as last-gen design, according to Imagination Tech.

Imagination Technologies Group Plc.'s (LON:IMG) is a top seller in an increasingly packed mobile market, which includes Qualcomm, Inc.'s (QCOM) Adreno GPU and NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) mobile GeForce derivatives.  Imagination Tech. also competes with ARM Holdings, Plc. (LON:ARM), 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 claim 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/mm2 (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. (AAPL) is among Imagination Tech.'s core licensers, using the PowerVR cores in its iPhones.

Source: Imagination Technologies

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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