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Samsung's Galaxy S IV switches to same GPU tech as Apple's A-series chips

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Imagination confirmed on Wednesday that Samsung's forthcoming flagship device, the Galaxy S IV, will transition from ARM graphics to Imagination's PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU ? the same graphics tech featured in Apple's iPhones and iPads.

imagine
via Imagination.


In a post on the company's official blog, Imagination confirmed that the unannounced Samsung Galaxy S IV will join many other mobile devices in integrating the PowerVR SGX544 line. In the Galaxy S IV, the PowerVR chip will be paired with Samsung's Octa Exynos 5410.

Apple was among the first to leverage Imagination's technology, secretly signing a multi-use licensing agreement with the firm that was exposed by AppleInsider in 2008. Apple's latest handset, the iPhone 5, features Imagination's PowerVR SGX 543MP3 in a triple-core configuration.

For Samsung, the switch to Imagination's tech represents a considerable shift, as the South Korean conglomerate has historically partnered with ARM for its graphics technology. ARM makes its own GPU, known as Mali, for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

The ARM Mali-T604 was featured in Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual, and observers presumed that GPU would also be found in the the 8-core version that will power the Galaxy S IV. But instead, Samsung's new graphics processor is said to be based on the same intellectual property as the GPU in Apple's latest A6 processor.The Imagination GPU confirmed to be in the Galaxy S IV is mostly identical to Apple's iPhone 5 GPU, though Samsung's graphics are expected to have a faster clock speed.

The 543MP3 GPU featured in the iPhone 5 and the 544MP3 in the Galaxy S IV are nearly identical chips, but the 544 model supports Microsoft's DirectX 9.3. Samsung's graphics processor is also expected to run at a higher clock speed, and use the same triple-core configuration as Apple.

AnandTech first revealed in January that the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa would be powered by Imagination's PowerVR SGX 544MP3, and not ARM's Mali. At the time it was believed the three GPU chips would be clocked at up to 533 megahertz, but AppleInsider has learned that the chip will likely run at around 500 megahertz. In comparison, the iPhone 5 GPU is clocked at 350 megahertz.

In the run-up to its March 14 reveal, details about the Galaxy S IV have been leaking steadily. The confirmation from Imagination, though, is one of the few hard details to emerge from a manufacturer with a hand in the device's making.
post #2 of 44
I am shocked
post #3 of 44

Samsung has been using Imagination cores off and on for years.

 

For example, both the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab used the SGX540.

post #4 of 44
Yet more blatant copying from Samsung! LOL
post #5 of 44

Also confirmed is the device will look and feel like cheap crap. 

 

Quote:
For Samsung, the switch to Imagination's tech represents a considerable shift, as the South Korean conglomerate has historically partnered with ARM for its graphics technology.

 

Hardly. The US variants of the Galaxy traditionally use Qualcomm's CPU/GPU and rumors from the Verge suggest that continues with this one as well. Samsung's also used Imagination GPUs in tablets. It's not unprecedented. Who writes this stuff? Motorola's used the SGX going back to 2009 in conjunction with OMAP processors. 

I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #6 of 44
How's that reverse engineering going, Sammy?
post #7 of 44

Wow, didn't see that one coming...

Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #8 of 44

Welcome to SamsungInsider.

post #9 of 44

Samsung: The Microsoft and Dell of the 2010s.

post #10 of 44

Apple is doomed.  What good is innovation when there is another company that just copy your successful work?  What can Apple do? 

post #11 of 44
I wonder how Samsung feels about these leaks. Are they just as annoyed as Apple is about losing the "wow" factor of the reveal?
post #12 of 44
Quote:
"Hardly. The US variants of the Galaxy traditionally use Qualcomm's CPU/GPU and rumors from the Verge suggest that continues with this one as well. Samsung's also used Imagination GPUs in tablets. It's not unprecedented. Who writes this stuff? Motorola's used the SGX going back to 2009 in conjunction with OMAP processors. "

You need to differentiate between Samsung Semi,the company that designs Socs and Samsung Consumer Electronics, the company that designs mobile phones amongst other things. They are two different organisations.

The last time Samsung SEMI designed an Soc using Imagination graphics was the hummingbird that Samsung CE designed into the original Galaxy. Since that time, Samsung Semi has solely used ARMs mali graphics in their Soc designs. Samsung CE have used these chips, Qualcomm chips, and TI chips (that coincidently also contain IMG graphics) amongst others for their handset designs.

This OCTA core chip is samsung SEMI switching back to IMG graphics for their flagship soc, which samsung CE will use in the galaxy S4 outside of the USA.

It is a major snub to ARM, Samsung is supposedly ARM's lead partner in graphics solutions and has first access to all of ARM's graphics IP. For them to switch to the same graphics as used by Apple, in my opinion shows that they did not feel that ARM could provide them with a solution that would keep them competitive with Apple handsets.
post #13 of 44

Much ado about nothing... Plenty of Android smarphones from several manufacturers have used PowerVR GPUs...  Heck, Samsung has used them in the past.

 

Besides, the US version will likely have Qualcomm's GPU, this will most likely only be for the Exynos version...

post #14 of 44

Jut curious why AI finds this newsworthy.  Guess it must be a slow news day.

post #15 of 44

Would AI be better served creating a spinoff site called SamsungInsider?  I guess they must benefit from the extra traffic generated by Samsung coverage or something but why subject the rest of us to these stories?

post #16 of 44

YOU ARE ALL WRONG!!!!!!!!

This parallel technology was used as early as 2005 from Samsung's Toilet Division 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-SAMSUNG-Digital-Bidet-Toilet-Seat-Dryer-SBD-935-EMS-/150583113849

post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

Would AI be better served creating a spinoff site called SamsungInsider?  I guess they must benefit from the extra traffic generated by Samsung coverage or something but why subject the rest of us to these stories?

Apple doesn't compete in a vacuum. It's good to se what's going on with competitors.
post #18 of 44

The Galaxy S started with Power VR in the Hummingbird - Samsung used Mali on the the 2 and 3 (Exynos) and they going back to Power VR for the Exynos 5 Octa

 

And that is only for the Octa - the Exynos Dual stays with Mali (nexus 10)... They been jumping from one to the other since the start of the Galaxy Line.


Edited by agramonte - 3/13/13 at 10:46am
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

Nonsense - The Galaxy S started with Power VR in the Hummingbird - Samsung used Mali on the the 2 and 3 (Exynos) and they going back to Power VR for the Exynos 5 Octa

 

And that is only for the Octa - the Exynos Dual stays with Mali (nexus 10)... They been jumping from one to the other since the start of the Galaxy Line.


The sense is why Samsung is doing this back and forth?

post #20 of 44
Naturally.
post #21 of 44
Samsung copied nothing. They bought a chip from a supplier just like Apple does.

Get over it!
post #22 of 44

Quote:

Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post
The sense is why Samsung is doing this back and forth?

 

 

 

 

who knows - it can be anything from price, to performance to availability - That is like asking why Apple keeps jumping from Intel, to Nvidia to AMD for their GPUs on Mac lines.

post #23 of 44
Not sure how this can be considered blatant copying as some of the posts suggest. It's not even the same model number, and i'm pretty sure Imagination is trying to sell its GPU technology to MORE than just one company (Apple). That would be analogous to saying that Apple copied Dell / HP when they switched to using Intel based CPU's in their macbooks.
post #24 of 44

Yet again, Apple blatantly copies what Samsung was already going to do in future.

post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Jut curious why AI finds this newsworthy.  Guess it must be a slow news day.

 

AI doesn't really care about newsworthy.

 

What they're looking for his ad-hit-worthy.

post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrowspark View Post

Not sure how this can be considered blatant copying as some of the posts suggest. It's not even the same model number, and i'm pretty sure Imagination is trying to sell its GPU technology to MORE than just one company (Apple). That would be analogous to saying that Apple copied Dell / HP when they switched to using Intel based CPU's in their macbooks.


Yes, copying is copying.  No Apple fans defended Apple using Intel CPUs.  Why can't Samsung fans copy this too? 

post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post


Yes, copying is copying.  No Apple fans defended Apple using Intel CPUs.  Why can't Samsung fans copy this too? 

 

It's not copying, to suggest that it is is stupid.  It's a commercial company  (Imagination) penetrating the mobile GPU market and getting as many customers as they can to use their product.   The assertion that this is copying implies that in your eyes a component manufacturer should only have ONE customer that buys their COTS product line and any other customers that buys the same component for system integration is copying. It's bullshit and no manufacturing company could possibly survive like that.

post #28 of 44
Samsung's bigger screen requires both a higher clocked processor and larger battery.
post #29 of 44

How funny would it be for the S-IV to have a memory LEAK?

post #30 of 44
To accommodate a larger battery to satisfy the power demands of the new Power VR GPU is probably one of the reasons it's rumored to be larger than the current model. I' m reasonably sure they'll run it at max in their attempt to beat the iPhone. The thing that Samsung lacks is the optimizations Apple employs with the software, hardware and battery. They have to go bigger to get similar battery life and performance.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Samsung's bigger screen requires both a higher clocked processor and larger battery.
Maybe my theory is right. samdung makes larger phones as the internals take up much more room than the beautifully designed and engineered iPhones. They then market this as a positive. And morons fall for this.
post #32 of 44
Big GPUs don't benefit Android because most Android games are coded without GPU acceleration for compatibility. There are many good Android phones with crap GPU like the Galaxy Nexus. If Samsung does not optimize Android 4.2 good enough, the PowerVR GPU could be sapping more power than before.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision33r View Post

Big GPUs don't benefit Android because most Android games are coded without GPU acceleration for compatibility. There are many good Android phones with crap GPU like the Galaxy Nexus. If Samsung does not optimize Android 4.2 good enough, the PowerVR GPU could be sapping more power than before.

Given that anandtech found the "next gen" Mali T604 in the exynos5250 very power inefficient, and given that this Samsung chip has 4xa15 running, I think you'll find one of the reason for switching to the same graphics provider as apple uses, is to get better graphics performance at less power.
post #34 of 44

Honestly... Wouldn't it be much easier for Samsung to buy Apple iPhone's at wholesale level, whack a Samsung sticker ( a cheap tacky one ) and sell them as a Samsung phone ??

post #35 of 44

Beyond that Apple owns a good chunk of Imagination, so this is good for Apple too.    I really don't understand the noise being made about this either, it is no different than Apple bouncing back and forth between AMD and NVidia for their GPUs.  In this case though Apple, as a part owner of Imagination, wins too.  

 

What is or will be more interesting is to see what ends up in A7 both CPU and GPU wise.   I'd love to see Apple transition to 64 bit this year on the CPU side and move to next generation Imagination tech on the GPU side.  More powerful GPUs will obviously be beneficial in delivering the performance bump required in all of the iOS devices.  For me though the real key to cementing Apples leadership position is an early transition to 64 bit computing in tablets.  If they can do that while significantly increasing the amount of RAM in the machines the software possibilities on the machines become unlimited.  

 

In a nut shell Apple needs a hardware base that allows for app parity with the Mac OS platform.   That is we end up with things like iWork and Safari with complete feature parity.    At least on iPads as that is more geared to use of the apps constructively instead of as a viewer.     At least that is what I'm hoping for otherwise we will likely get a bump this year instead of a major transition.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrowspark View Post

Not sure how this can be considered blatant copying as some of the posts suggest. It's not even the same model number, and i'm pretty sure Imagination is trying to sell its GPU technology to MORE than just one company (Apple). That would be analogous to saying that Apple copied Dell / HP when they switched to using Intel based CPU's in their macbooks.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Beyond that Apple owns a good chunk of Imagination, so this is good for Apple too.    I really don't understand the noise being made about this either, it is no different than Apple bouncing back and forth between AMD and NVidia for their GPUs.  In this case though Apple, as a part owner of Imagination, wins too.  

 

What is or will be more interesting is to see what ends up in A7 both CPU and GPU wise.   I'd love to see Apple transition to 64 bit this year on the CPU side and move to next generation Imagination tech on the GPU side.  More powerful GPUs will obviously be beneficial in delivering the performance bump required in all of the iOS devices.  For me though the real key to cementing Apples leadership position is an early transition to 64 bit computing in tablets.  If they can do that while significantly increasing the amount of RAM in the machines the software possibilities on the machines become unlimited.  

 

In a nut shell Apple needs a hardware base that allows for app parity with the Mac OS platform.   That is we end up with things like iWork and Safari with complete feature parity.    At least on iPads as that is more geared to use of the apps constructively instead of as a viewer.     At least that is what I'm hoping for otherwise we will likely get a bump this year instead of a major transition.  

 

 

It's hard to guess what Apple's next step may be since they are working several steps ahead at the same time. The more Apple can take their CPU/GPU chip design in-house, the more they can cloak their intended design direction. The same thing with their planned evolution of iOS. 

 

If Apple were to go to 64 bit, as you hope, they have the control of their OS to do that. That's one place where Samsung cannot gain an advantage since they are dependent on Google's Android for their underlying OS. I'm counting on Apple to leverage one of their strengths in an unexpected way to cause a game-changer of some kind. Apple. after all, is the gold standard to beat and any unexpected curve they throw can un-track Samsung and everyone else.

post #37 of 44
I can't believe Samsung is copying Apple.
post #38 of 44

I don't even know where to begin.  Seems like many of you are living in 2009.

 

and 

 

[Samsung has been using Imagination cores off and on for years.

 

For example, both the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab used the SGX540.]

 

You wouldn't call Apple copying HP/Dell and others when Apple was using AMD/ATI for sometime and switch to Nvidia.

post #39 of 44

Besides the fact that Samsung has used Imagination systems for years, Samsung licensed the PowerVR SGX MP family back in 2011.

post #40 of 44

Try and remember nearly all the silicon in iPhones since day one has come from Samsung, and plenty of people want to buy bigger screened phones, look how well the Note is selling.

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