PowerVR visual IP technologies have been developed over more than two decades to meet the most demanding requirements of high volume mobile and consumer applications. With their roots in arcade platforms and digital TV, PowerVR visual technologies lead the world in delivering exceptional levels of performance while delivering low power, small silicon area and high levels of system latency tolerance when integrating with unified memory and other shared resources.
PowerVR graphics technology is based on a concept called Tile Based Deferred Rendering (TBDR). In contrast to Immediate Mode Rendering (IMR) used by most graphics engines in the PC and games console worlds, TBDR focuses on minimising the processing required to render an image as early in the processing of a scene as possible, so that only the pixels that actually will be seen by the end user consume processing resources. This approach minimizes memory and power while improving processing throughput but it is more complex. Imagination Technologies has refined this challenging technology to the point where it dominates the mobile markets for 3D graphics rendering, backed up by an extensive patent portfolio.
The latest generation of this advanced architecture is the PowerVR Series6 family of graphics IP cores. Based on a scalable number of compute clusters, the PowerVR Series6 ‘Rogue’ architecture is designed to target the requirements of a growing range of demanding markets from mobile to the highest performance embedded graphics including smartphones, tablets, PC, console, automotive and TV. Using these arrays of programmable computing elements, PowerVR Series6 cores deliver class-leading graphics and GPU Compute efficiency while minimising power and bandwidth demands.
The PowerVR Series6 family of GPUs delivers a significant portfolio of new technologies and features, including: advanced scalable compute cluster architecture; high efficiency compression technology including lossless image and parameter compression and the widely respected PVRTC2™ texture compression; an enhanced scheduling architecture; dedicated housekeeping processor based on Imagination’s Meta technology; and a new 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 optimal performance per mm2 or per mW depending on configuration.
PowerVR Series6 GPUs deliver full support for all popular and emerging GPU compute APIs including OpenCL 1.x and Renderscript Compute, delivering an optimal balance of performance versus power consumption for mobile and embedded devices. Members of the Series6 family are designed to support the features of the latest graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 3/2/1.1, OpenGL 3.x/4.x, and full WHQL-compliant DirectX10, with certain family members extending their capabilities to DirectX11.1 functionality.
Completing the portfolio of graphics IP cores is the PowerVR SGX Series5 and Series5XT families of graphics IP cores. With a level of scalability from 1 to 8 pipelines and beyond, based on the unique Universal Scalable Shader Engine (USSE), PowerVR SGX brings fully compliant OpenGL ES 2.0 shader-based graphics capability to mobile and consumer platforms. Series5XT architecture further builds on the underlying strengths of Series5, delivering significant performance advantages through increased floating point and instruction throughput as well as natively supported YUV and color space conversion.
This architecture also significantly further extends the scalability of the architecture by enabling multi-processor implementations, with up to 16 core instantiations possible that deliver better than 95% linear performance scaling of both geometry and pixel processing resources. The total Series5 and Series5XT portfolio therefore enables the industry’s broadest range of performance/area options, from the smallest single pipe SGX520 core up to the 64-pipe SGX554MP16. All popular APIs and OS are supported by all SGX cores, including OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenVG 1.1, OpenGL 2.0/3.0 and DirectX 9/10.1 on Linux, Android, WinCE/Windows Mobile and Windows 7/Vista/XP.
Tile Based Deferred Rendering
PowerVR Texture Compression (PVRTC)
PowerVR Lossless Compression (Rogue Architecture only)
PowerVR USSE and USC Architecture
PowerVR Microkernel Firmware
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