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Imagination Technologies today announced the launch of its next-generation PowerVR Series7 graphics architecture, setting the stage for further improvements to the graphics used in Apple's iOS device lineup.
Series7XT and Series7XE GPUs achieve up to a 60% architectural performance increase on the latest industry standard benchmarks compared to equivalent configurations of previous generation PowerVR Series6XT/6XE GPUs, maintaining and extending PowerVR's reputation as the most efficient, highest performance, lowest power GPU.
Of most interest to Apple users is the Series7XT family, which will be the successor to the Series6XT graphics used in Apple's latest A8-series chips. The new Series7XT family ranges from two to 16 shading clusters offering up to 512 cores of graphics processing power, giving developers the ability to include "console-quality effects" such as HDR and 4K rendering in their mobile apps.
imagination_7xt_graphics_chart.jpg
- PowerVR GT7200: 2 shading clusters, 64 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7400: 4 shading clusters, 128 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7600: 6 shading clusters, 192 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7800: 8 shading clusters, 256 ALU cores
- PowerVR GT7900: 16 shading clusters, 512 ALU cores
Apple currently uses quad-core GX6450 graphics in its A8 chip for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and more powerful six-core GX6650 graphics in the A8X chip found in the iPad Air 2.

imagination_7xt_6xt_table-800x794.jpg
PowerVR graphics architectures have typically taken on the order of 18 months from announcement of licensing to their appearance in products, but things moved much faster with the current Series6XT offerings. Those were announced in January at CES 2014 but made their way into Apple's A8 chip in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus just eight months later, suggesting the new Series7XT graphics could appear in next year's A9 chips from Apple.

Imagination and Apple have worked closely together over the years, with Apple being a key investor in the graphics firm as it raised its stake to roughly 10 percent in mid-2009.

Article Link: Imagination Announces PowerVR Series7 Graphics, Likely Headed for Apple's 2015 iOS Devices
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
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They were seeing 40-60% improvements in some standard benchmarks for similar cluster and clock configurations. Safe to say it will be a healthy bump, but not a monumental improvement. A7 to A8 GPU situation is comparable.
 
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MacBjorn

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2014
25
0
Hopefully the chip will trickle down into the iPad Air too. It does sound like it's made for the iPad Pro, but one can hope* unless this one springs for a retina MBA instead. :D

*Hoping about non-existing :apple: things.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,189
5,182
What do we need all this power for?

No matter how complicated I make my 3D games in Unity, I still can't get the slightest hickup out of my iPhone 4S (granted, the most busy scene I've tried so far only has 700 triangles in it, but still, my game is approaching completion, it's beautiful, and it runs smooth as silk.)
 
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GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,115
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What do we need all this power for?

No matter how complicated I make my 3D games in Unity, I still can't get the slightest hickup out of my iPhone 4S (granted, the most busy scene I've tried so far only has 700 triangles in it, but still, my game is approaching completion, it's beautiful, and it runs smooth as silk.)

3X Retina?
 
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the-msa

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2013
419
203
What do we need all this power for?

No matter how complicated I make my 3D games in Unity, I still can't get the slightest hickup out of my iPhone 4S (granted, the most busy scene I've tried so far only has 700 triangles in it, but still, my game is approaching completion, it's beautiful, and it runs smooth as silk.)

Well, 700 polygons will probably run smooth on a calculator too.

Also, the amount of polygons isn't related to how good your game looks.
 
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kaellar

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2012
441
17
I'm so glad Apple doesn't forget about us gamers and uses the best possible options for both iOS devices and Macs. Oh wait..
 
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mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
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It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.
 
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lewisd25

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2007
845
581
It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.

Thanks for the update, Jony. :rolleyes:
 
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mavere

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2007
57
27
It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.

...established IP companies don't generally drop new designs out of the blue and yell "Ready, set, GO!" They work closely with their biggest customers first.

Apple's A9/X team has likely been using a pre-final Series7XT design for a while now.
 
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drewyboy

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
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It's too late for 2015 devices - they're already done, and in testing right now.

Even 2016 devices is pushing it. ASICs generally take 2 years to design.

This is likely for 2017 devices.

*sigh* You really need to learn to read all the way through the article. They stated the current PowerVR used in A8 was announced in January of 2014... 8 months from public announcement to Apple's announcement. They have even more time this time round.
 
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chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
5,322
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*sigh* You really need to learn to read all the way through the article. They stated the current PowerVR used in A8 was announced in January of 2014... 8 months from public announcement to Apple's announcement. They have even more time this time round.

Yeah. Based on ImgTec's comments, I think we can expect yearly architecture tweaks. Each new iPhone/iPad will have a new GPU that is different and more than just more clusters/cores or higher clock speed.
 
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rGiskard

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2012
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955
6S/6S Plus are going to rock.

My prediction:

A9 - remains dual core and gets another 50% boost in efficiency.
Camera: 16MP and a sensor/pixels sufficiently large to maintain current low light performance.
4K video @ 60fps
Full HD 240 fps slo-mo
Body: No more bendy 6 pluses. :p

Star of the show will be the camera.
 
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Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
3,132
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6S/6S Plus are going to rock.

My prediction:

A9 - remains dual core and gets another 50% boost in efficiency.
Camera: 16MP and a sensor/pixels sufficiently large to maintain current low light performance.
4K video @ 60fps
Full HD 240 fps slo-mo
Body: No more bendy 6 pluses. :p

Star of the show will be the camera.

With 16Gigs of storage on the base model of course, so as to hold precious few pics, and force the $100 upgrade.
 
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LordQ

Suspended
Sep 22, 2012
3,582
5,651
And yet no one can make a decent StarFox-ish space shooter for iPad #
 
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mozumder

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2009
1,029
3,283
*sigh* You really need to learn to read all the way through the article. They stated the current PowerVR used in A8 was announced in January of 2014... 8 months from public announcement to Apple's announcement. They have even more time this time round.

*sigh* I'd like to see confirmation that the Series6XT is even in the A8 chips. This would include feature testing for things in hardware. (and not just API-level emulation...)

Right now everything is speculative if the Series6XT is even in the A8 chips.

----------

...established IP companies don't generally drop new designs out of the blue and yell "Ready, set, GO!" They work closely with their biggest customers first.

Apple's A9/X team has likely been using a pre-final Series7XT design for a while now.

And they've been synthesizing with it at least a year ago.

But, this is going to piss off the other non-NDA ASIC vendors that Imagination Technologies is trying to sell into.
 
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