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Apple supplier Imagination Technologies’ GPUs with 20X performance!

In a CES (Consumer Electronics Show) announcement Tuesday, Imagination Technologies (which builds the GPUs [graphical processing units] for Apple’s mobile products) showcased its new PowerVR Series6 GPU core chip family, which they say can provide 20 times the performance of the current generation of chips, or greater!

“The innovative PowerVR Rogue architecture, on which Series6 is based, builds on the maturity and unrivalled success of the previous five generations of PowerVR GPUs. It enables Imagination’s partners to deliver amazing user experiences in devices from innovative ‘natural’ user interfaces to ultra-realistic gaming, as well as enabling new applications never before thought of from advanced content creation and image processing to sophisticated augmented reality and environment-aware solutions.”

AppleInsider, which CNET describes as an “enthusiast site” (some of my friends at Apple might have OTHER descriptions of them! :-) ) notes that, with Apple as one of those partners, Imagination has created the GPUs built into the central processing units (CPUs) that drive the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. Those CPUs include the A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2, and the A4 chip in the iPhone 4 and the original iPad.

Since Apple even OWNS a piece of Imagination Technologies, it’s almost certain that the new PowerVR Series6 will be incorporated into future iPhones and iPads. Only WHEN? :-) Imagination CEO Hossein Yassaie seems to be planning an aggressive rollout for the new GPU line, saying that “we have a very clear technology advantage and an exceptional roadmap for the PowerVR Series6 family which our partners can depend on.”

AppleInsider speculates (and speculation is their BUSINESS! 😉 ) that the next-generation A6 chip that will reportedly power the iPad 3 could include the Series 6 GPUs. The next iPad is rumored to start shipping in March (there are a “whole lotta” rumors when you are discussing Apple products), so the timing could be very tight, indeed!

Apple supplier and iPad maker Pegatron Technologies appears to have already started filling orders for the iPad 3! Chinese sources have told the Japanese blog Makotakara that Foxconn Technology and Pegatron have both already begun assembling the new iPad. The sources said that Foxconn is taking on 85 percent of the load and Pegatron, only 15 percent. Other rumors say that Apple has dropped Sharp as the supplier of iPad display panels and has chosen LG and Samsung to make the panels for the iPad 3!

Imagination Technologies further described the new series of GPUs:

PowerVR Series6 GPU cores are designed to offer computing performance exceeding 100GFLOPS (gigaFLOPS) and reaching  the TFLOPS (teraFLOPS) range  enabling high-level graphics performance from mobile through to high-end compute and graphics solutions.

The PowerVR Series6 family will deliver a significant portfolio of new technologies and 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.

I can’t WAIT to see what device manufacturers DO with the GPUs!

-Bill at

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