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Imagination unveils 192-core mobile GPU potentially bound for future Apple iPhones, iPads

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Imagination Technologies, the company whose PowerVR graphics processors are a key component of Apple's iOS devices, unveiled its latest creation on Monday: a 192-core GPU that it claims will produce the most powerful graphics yet in mobile phones and tablets.

Imagination


The new intellectual property chip design, dubbed the PowerVR GX6650, was revealed at the Mobile World Congress industry event in Barcelona, Spain. Imagination's mobile GPU design will be embedded in upcoming mobile processors with integrated graphics.

Apple's custom A-series chips that power the iPhone and iPad use PowerVR graphics processors. Apple's latest flagship silicon, the A7 CPU found in the iPad Air and iPhone 5s, uses Imagination's PowerVR Series 6 graphics.

Imagination said on Monday that the new PowerVR GX6650 is the "shining star" of its PowerVR Series6XT family of graphics processors. It has also heralded the design as the most powerful GPU IP core available on the market today, besting Nvidia's upcoming Tegra K1 platform.

Imagination


The PowerVR GX6650 has six unified shading clusters and 192 cores, allowing it to process 12 pixels per clock, a number Imagination says is triple that of its competitors. The new high-end mobile graphics chip is aimed at processors in high-end, high-resolution tablets or 4K smart TVs.

Imagination also said that power consumption on the latest PowerVR has been kept low, even with all the additional horsepower. Power efficiency is managed by the PowerGearing G6XT included in the GPU, while PVR3C optimally compresses textures, frame buffers and geometry.

Apple and Imagination Technologies announced earlier this month that the two companies had extended their mobile graphics deal, signaling that the company's designs would likely continue to be a part of future iPhone and iPad custom processors. PowerVR S-series chips have powered every Apple mobile device since the third-generation iPhone 3GS.
post #2 of 48
am I the only one around here that thinks Imagination is better buy than Tesla? am I the only one who wants PowerVR to be Apple exclusive?
post #3 of 48
Am I supposed to be impressed? I'm sure it is the greatest thing ever in the history of mobile graphics, but I'm pretty certain not a single person will notice.

Graphics have always been excellent on iOS.
post #4 of 48
melior diabolus quem scies
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post #5 of 48
Nice! Now let's see some OpenCL support!
post #6 of 48
Qualcomm announced a quad-core 64-bit CPU but what mobile OS can use it in anything other that 32-bit mode and 1 or 2 cores at a time? My hope is that Imagination's 192 core GPU would be fully usable by iOS and possibly OS X(?). If it isn't, then all they're doing is playing the spec game, something Apple doesn't need to do.
post #7 of 48
Apple already owns part of Imagination. Don't see what apple would gain by buying the rest. They don't need to own the IP. Just license it and get advanced access, etc.
post #8 of 48
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Originally Posted by EricCalabros View Post

am I the only one around here that thinks Imagination is better buy than Tesla? am I the only one who wants PowerVR to be Apple exclusive?
 

I don't think Apple has any intention to buy Tesla - they just want to partner with them for their battery technology - but I do agree that Imagination would be a good acquisition.

post #9 of 48
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Originally Posted by EricCalabros View Post

am I the only one around here that thinks Imagination is better buy than Tesla?

Apple isn't buying Tesla.
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post #10 of 48
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Imagination also said that power consumption on the latest PowerVR has been kept low, even with all the additional horsepower.

 

That's vague bordering on meaningless.

post #11 of 48

And again, as usual, Nvidia is owned.

 

Tegra 1: Shit, no one used it.

Tegra 2: Shit, no one used it.

Tegra 3: Shit, only Asus was stupid enough to use it on those nexus.

Tegra 4: Surface.

k1: Who cares.

 

in each and every one of those SoC Nvidia promised the world... Remember the reaction when the a5 (or 6) crushed it?

post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Qualcomm announced a quad-core 64-bit CPU but what mobile OS can use it in anything other that 32-bit mode and 1 or 2 cores at a time? My hope is that Imagination's 192 core GPU would be fully usable by iOS and possibly OS X(?). If it isn't, then all they're doing is playing the spec game, something Apple doesn't need to do.


Rest assured that this will be proclaimed as the iPhone killer by a certain contingent of the population.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Am I supposed to be impressed? I'm sure it is the greatest thing ever in the history of mobile graphics, but I'm pretty certain not a single person will notice.

Graphics have always been excellent on iOS.

 

That's because Apple keep up with technology. If they were using the same GPU from iPhone  3GS in the 5S, things would look pretty bad. As it's stated in the article, this would make a difference at 4k resolutions - which should be very demanding for existing GPUs.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricCalabros View Post

am I the only one around here that thinks Imagination is better buy than Tesla? am I the only one who wants PowerVR to be Apple exclusive?

 

It could be that Imagination has long term licensing deals with Apple's competitors and that Apple would have to honor those deals. That might make buying Imagination seem less appealing to Apple. 

 

Another strategy might be to do with Imagination IP what Apple does with ARM IP --- license key aspects of the IP, but then take that and build something far better than what other licensees are building. To accomplish that Apple just needs to patiently build up an internal GPU team that can beat what others are doing. They did it with the CPU -- they might be able to do the same with the GPU. 

post #15 of 48
solid foundation for future 3D features ...

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post #16 of 48
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Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

And again, as usual, Nvidia is owned.

Tegra 1: Shit, no one used it.
Tegra 2: Shit, no one used it.
Tegra 3: Shit, only Asus was stupid enough to use it on those nexus.
Tegra 4: Surface.
k1: Who cares.

in each and every one of those SoC Nvidia promised the world... Remember the reaction when the a5 (or 6) crushed it?

So, how does the new Imagination GPU compared to any of those water-cooled desktop gamer cards??? Enquiring minds want to know.
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post #17 of 48
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Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post
 
Rest assured that this will be proclaimed as the iPhone killer by a certain contingent of the population.

 

Google wants to kill the iPhone because they don't want Apple to get all of their Advertising money.  But Apple will never die and Apple makes more profits!

 

Every phone that comes out is going to be an iPhone killer if you believe those "reporters" but the iPhone is stronger than ever with China Mobile selling to all of their hundreds of millions of customers that is going to make Google sit up and BEG!

 

Everybody always says that the iPhone is killed, but the reports are always exaggerated.

post #18 of 48

Apple will need that added GPU horsepower for that 14 inch larger iPhone with 9999 dpi screen resolution they have to release to keep up with all the Androids.  

 

Or maybe they will add it to the Apple TV and make it capable of playing video games?

post #19 of 48
Maybe this is the GPU that's going to be in the next Apple TV? That would give something for Sony and Microsoft to worry about!
post #20 of 48
This is awesome but unless you code your program to use those cores they simply don't mean jack sh**!
However, if you do create a program that uses all those cores expect to tax the hell out of that battery. IMHO. What do I know.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


So, how does the new Imagination GPU compared to any of those water-cooled desktop gamer cards??? Enquiring minds want to know.

 

From the article linked above...

 

Finally, to throw in a true desktop comparison for the fun of it, we also put NVIDIA’s Kepler based GTX 650 in the chart. Clockspeeds aside, the best case scenario for even GX6650 is that it achieves half the shading throughput as GTX 650. The ROP throughput gap on the other hand is narrower (but GTX 650 will easily have 2x the memory bandwidth) and the texture throughput gap is nearly 3x wider. In practice it would be difficult to imagine the GX6650 being any closer than about 40% of the GTX 650’s performance, once again owing to the massive memory bandwidth difference between an SoC and a discrete GPU.

post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

This is awesome but unless you code your program to use those cores they simply don't mean jack sh**!
However, if you do create a program that uses all those cores expect to tax the hell out of that battery. IMHO. What do I know.

First, I suspect Apple already is including this as part of the A8 APU.

This graphics capability could be used along with some speciality hardware for interior 3D Mapping and Location/Navigation ... two areas that Apple is interested in -- reflected by their recent acquisitions of PrimeSense and WiFiSlam.

In addition the graphics capability would be useful for more pervasive use in image and video processing.

I don't expect that normal users will use only occasionally need/use this enhanced graphics capability, and only for a short period of time. For this use case, battery should not be an issue.


Specialty users who want to exploit the graphics capability on mobile devices, likely, have backup battery solutions to mitigate the issue.

More and more you are seeing high-quality images and videos captured/processed on iPhones and iPads -- I expect additional graphics processing power will be a compelling attraction!
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post #23 of 48
In case it hasn't been noted Apple already owns a reported 9.5% of Img Tech. They don't have to buy them to get what they want; and by get I don't mean in any nefarious manner. Img Tech and Apple's goals are very much aligned.

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post #24 of 48
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Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Rest assured that this will be proclaimed as the iPhone killer by a certain contingent of the population.

LOL. Everything not the iPhone is an "iPhone killer." But you know what most iPhone users actually switch to? A newer iPhone.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #25 of 48
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Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Apple will need that added GPU horsepower for that 14 inch larger iPhone with 9999 dpi screen resolution they have to release to keep up with all the Androids.  

Or maybe they will add it to the Apple TV and make it capable of playing video games?

Apple balances battery life, device weight, and performance. They're not trying to win the specs race for bragging rights.

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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Am I supposed to be impressed? I'm sure it is the greatest thing ever in the history of mobile graphics, but I'm pretty certain not a single person will notice.
 

 

I disagree.

 

If I'm playing a game on an iPad, I sure as hell will notice a difference between a game running at 20 FPS VS a game running at 60 FPS. And I bet that many other people will too. Most people with two eyeballs will notice.

 

Also, there have been various ports of desktop games to iPad, and that's a good thing, but sometimes things like shadows and extra details are left out of the iPad version.

 

What's your point? That nobody should bother making more powerful GPU's, because nobody will notice?

 

You couldn't be more wrong.

 

When I buy an iPad Air 2 later on this year, or an iPad Pro, I except it to have a hefty GPU inside, the best available.

post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricCalabros View Post

am I the only one around here that thinks Imagination is better buy than Tesla? am I the only one who wants PowerVR to be Apple exclusive?

 

Tesla would have been a good buy for Apple one year ago, when it was a quarter of the price. I don't think that the head of Tesla would sell it regardless, so all of this Tesla & Apple talk is really about nothing, because it will never happen, in my humble opinion.

 

I agree though that Imagination would be a good buy, depending on the price.

post #28 of 48
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Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Rest assured that this will be proclaimed as the iPhone killer by a certain contingent of the population.

It's been years since anything was proclaimed a 'iPhone killer'.
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post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Rest assured that this will be proclaimed as the iPhone killer by a certain contingent of the population.

It's been years since anything was proclaimed a 'iPhone killer'.
The floor I've found to be a good iPhone killer that and water
post #30 of 48

yummy yummi :D i just hope Imagination Technologies will not stab Apple in the back like other companies did

 

 

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post #31 of 48
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Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


It's been years since anything was proclaimed a 'iPhone killer'.

iPhone 8 aka the first iPhone killer!

 

 

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post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


It's been years since anything was proclaimed a 'iPhone killer'.

around me (a Blackberry shop) most people already say the iphone is dead (and quoting numbers as apple's reported to the SEC numbers are lies).  I'm now just biting my lip, and giggling, as they sound like Thurott/Dvorak smurfs

post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
 

around me (a Blackberry shop) most people already say the iphone is dead (and quoting numbers as apple's reported to the SEC numbers are lies).  I'm now just biting my lip, and giggling, as they sound like Thurott/Dvorak smurfs

 

yes probably they lied about selling less, just today when i went shopping i saw over 20 people using an iPhone  and  other 5 people using androids cheap or high end? i can't tell they look the same (Europe)

 

 

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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

around me (a Blackberry shop) most people already say the iphone is dead (and quoting numbers as apple's reported to the SEC numbers are lies).  I'm now just biting my lip, and giggling, as they sound like Thurott/Dvorak smurfs

Talk about grandiose delusions. I guess they have no idea what the repercussions would be for lying to the SEC.
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post #35 of 48
Why is everybody so sure Apple isn't interested in Tesla? And why would apple be interested in Tesla's battery tech? Seems to me that Tesla should be interested in Apple's battery tech...
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by patpatpat View Post
 

 

From the article linked above...

 

Finally, to throw in a true desktop comparison for the fun of it, we also put NVIDIA’s Kepler based GTX 650 in the chart. Clockspeeds aside, the best case scenario for even GX6650 is that it achieves half the shading throughput as GTX 650. The ROP throughput gap on the other hand is narrower (but GTX 650 will easily have 2x the memory bandwidth) and the texture throughput gap is nearly 3x wider. In practice it would be difficult to imagine the GX6650 being any closer than about 40% of the GTX 650’s performance, once again owing to the massive memory bandwidth difference between an SoC and a discrete GPU.

 

Right, but it's power draw is 1/50th+ that of a discrete GPU. Compare the power draw of this GPGPU for the Mobile space to the discrete GPGPU of the desktop space and it is clear that more resources have been going into bringing the immersive quality of high-end graphics to the smartphone/tablet than has been going into the Desktop/Laptop paradigm.

 

Make the desktop/workstation GPGPU as efficient in power usage as the embedded space and we would truly have mind-blowing graphics at dirt cheap pricing.

post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by echosonic View Post

Why is everybody so sure Apple isn't interested in Tesla? And why would apple be interested in Tesla's battery tech? Seems to me that Tesla should be interested in Apple's battery tech...

 

They're not interested in Tesla beyond iOS in the car. Apple is leveraging all automakers willing to create iOS in the car.

 

Quote:
``Do a few things exceptionally well.''

 

Musk is leveraging a routine business meeting into benefiting his company by not denying any asinine rumors, other than to use language such as, ``highly unlikely,'' which keeps you thinking ``highly likely.'' Musk knows it never was an option.

post #38 of 48
Wait I'm sorry if I'm wrong but is this really jump from 4 core (A5X,A6X,A7) to 192, that is massive isn't it?
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

Wait I'm sorry if I'm wrong but is this really jump from 4 core (A5X,A6X,A7) to 192, that is massive isn't it?

 

Shader Cores Cluster == 192. Unified Shading Cluster Array.

 

Same 192 area Nvidia touts about their Tegra next generation, but this will stomp all over it.

 

http://withimagination.imgtec.com/index.php/powervr/powervr-gx6650-redefining-performance-mobile-192-cores

 

post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 

Right, but it's power draw is 1/50th+ that of a discrete GPU. Compare the power draw of this GPGPU for the Mobile space to the discrete GPGPU of the desktop space and it is clear that more resources have been going into bringing the immersive quality of high-end graphics to the smartphone/tablet than has been going into the Desktop/Laptop paradigm.

 



That's because Imagination hasn't made a Desktop GPU in nearly a decade.

That and TSMC screwed up another node transition, meaning we're stuck waiting even longer for the 20nm GPU's. If The current Maxwell 750Ti is anything to go buy, those GPU's are going to be fairly efficient as the entry level cards can now run directly off the motherboard alone rather than need the PSU.

But I digress, this is a very impressive Mobile GPU from Imagination. I'm actually eager to see what they do with their MIPS acquisition as well.
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