Future iPhones May Offer More Realistic Lighting and Shadows with New Ray-Tracing GPU

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    Apple's graphics partner for iOS devices, Imagination Technologies, has announced a new version of its PowerVR graphics architecture that includes ray-tracing capabilities. Apple currently uses the PowerVR G6430 graphics package from Imagination in its latest A7 chip that powers the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini, so Imagination's new technology is likely of interest to Apple.

    [​IMG]
    Offering more realistic lighting and shadows, the new GPU design known as "Wizard" marks a significant leap forward by bringing ray tracing to mobile devices.
    AnandTech has more on the developments, which are an extension of the Series6XT graphics profiled last month, noting that Imagination is combining ray tracing with traditional rasterized graphics.
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    [​IMG]
    Comparison of traditional rasterized (top) and hybrid rasterized/ray-traced (bottom) scenes
    Alongside the upcoming mobile GPU designs that will support ray tracing, Imagination's expertise in ray tracing will include an impact on game developers in the nearer term with yesterday's unveiling of version 5 of the popular Unity game engine. Unity 5 will leverage Imagination's ray-tracing technology to allow game developers to view lighting changes in near real time, accelerating the development process.

    Apple has not been explicitly mentioned as interested in taking advantage of the new Wizard GPU designs, but the company has used Imagination GPUs in all of its iOS devices and is a minority investor in Imagination, holding an approximately 10 percent stake in the company.

    As for timing, it seems that Wizard GPUs will not be making their way into products until 2015, indicating that they are not candidates for the iPhone 6, which is expected to debut later this year. Future iPhone models could, however, incorporate Wizard GPUs for more realistic graphics, and it appears that Imagination is banking on this technology becoming the standard for mobile GPUs in the future.

    Article Link: Future iPhones May Offer More Realistic Lighting and Shadows with New Ray-Tracing GPU
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    needfx

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    #2
    future iphones may offer reality distortion fields
     
  3. macrumors regular

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    #3
    you'd be able to snap unicorns using these.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    BJMRamage

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    #4
    for gaming? or something else? mapping?

    that seems like it is really processor intensive...though i don't have a clue what it means.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    cobbyco

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    #5
    Even if you're not in to games, this is pretty awesome news.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    spyguy10709

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    #6
    Frankly the iPhone and iPad have the most impressive graphics performance of any mobile device - look at top tier games on the iPhone 5S compared to its counterparts... Not even close.

    A bump like this would be killer for anyone who loves gaming on iOS.

    Also - appleTV gaming anyone?
     
  7. Santabean2000, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    macrumors 65816

    Santabean2000

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    #7
    The difference in graphics quality these days is crazy good. Just incredible what's possible. Almost scary to think where it's going!

    Edit: gaming ATV ;)
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Kariya

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    #8
    Imagination (PowerVR creators) is a GPU company.
     
  9. macrumors 603

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    #9
    GPU is awesome
    hope it gets used since 16GB is not enough to hold games with more data
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    This is very overhyped across all the news today (not just iPhone specific). Ray tracing subjective visual advantage at too much of a cost.
     
  11. macrumors member

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    #11
    Brilliant!

    Could anyone have imagined, a decade or two ago, what mobile phones would become? The hub of a digital lifestyle with communications, entertainment, and day management equally at home in the palm of one's hand....

    This new graphics chip will revolutionize the way we play on our devices for real...And maybe introduce some sort of virtualization in tasks outside of gaming?

    The real coup would be that this new image tech uses a comparable amount of battery as existing tech. That might be asking too much though...
     
  12. macrumors 601

    The Doctor11

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    #12
    Apple should really try and get it into the next iPhone.
     
  13. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #13
    It has dedicated hardware to do it. Just imagine the current iPhone GPU with extra hardware slapped in to do this. It's an alternate way of lighting as opposed to current rasterization methods. It's more physically based, so it's more accurate, but very resource intensive.

    I have a hard time believing Apple will use their precious die space to include this, however. Since they won't be direct users of it, they'd have to convince their developers of its usefulness.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    What we really need is an innovation on the battery front that can be brought to the mainstream market quick, cheap and easy (And still high quality).
     
  15. macrumors regular

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    #15
    Am I the only one who prefers the rasterized-only image in the example?
     
  16. macrumors 601

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    #16
    I am sceptical. Instead of investing into ray tracing they should have used the transistor budget to improve the rasterisation performance. I'd like to see the API though.
     
  17. macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #17
    ImgTec proposed/has an open API for it, OpenRL.

    They've already used the transistor budget to improve rasterization. This is completely added on hardware. They bought Caustic which makes cards for commercial ray tracing use. Id's John Carmack [1][2] was impressed with what they had done.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    xionxiox

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    #18
    yes
     
  19. macrumors 68000

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    #19
    Meh iPhone games are boring
     
  20. macrumors member

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    #20
    Think of how it will make a snappier Safari!
     
  21. macrumors regular

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    #21
    I agree. Just sayin'. In the ray traced one you can't see the tree or the car. Hopefully this is simply a proof of tech. I don't really care if every leaf has it's own lifelike shadow if the picture as a whole looks dingier.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    SockRolid

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    #22
    So, let me guess. Infinity Blade 3.0 with ray tracing? At WWDC 2015?
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    cobbyco

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    #23
    Every time someone posts this, a kitten gets hit by a car.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #24
    I knew someone would be able to spin this into a negative. It's not. This is a technology that is available for SOC makers to choose to include if they so with. I'm quite sure Apple will put a lot of thought into what transistors they include on future A series chips (not to mention simulations and experimental prototypes). You needn't worry.
     
  25. macrumors member

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    Mar 19, 2014
    #25
    Awesome article! i'm really into this

    Is this PowerVR GX6650 ? ? ? help
     

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