Imagination Technologies Starts Licensing Next Gen iPad/iPhone GPU

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Imagination Technologies, the company behind the iPhone and iPad's PowerVR graphic processor unit (GPU), has announced that six "key partners" have already selected their next generation PowerVR Series 6 GPU (codename: Rogue) for licensing. The partners include ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, MediaTek as well as three "yet to be announced" licensees.


    Apple has long used Imagination Technologies' GPUs to power their mobile phones and is likely one of the unnamed licensees. Besides being a major customer, Apple is also an investor in the company with ownership pegged at 9.5% back in 2009. The iPad 2 currently uses the PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU. Combined with the A5 processor, Apple claimed the iPad 2 has 9x faster graphics than the original model. This upcoming GPU is said to deliver another significant performance boost for mobile graphics.

    The press release is devoid of any hard details and offers just some vague promises of future performance.
    The new graphics processor will be backward compatible with the PowerVR SGX GPU which presently powers the iPad and iPhone, so will be an easy transition in future models.

    A few numbers were detailed back in February during Mobile World Congress. According to a press release from ST-Ericsson, the Series 6 PowerVR chip will push over 350 million "real" polygons per second when used in their Nova A9600 SOC. That particular chip is said to be "sampling" in 2011.

    Based on the usual lead time for these announcements, it seems unlikely we'll see these new GPUs in Apple's products until 2012 at the earliest. This more powerful graphics processor may help support the additional pixels of the rumored "Retina" display in the next iPad.

    Article Link: Imagination Technologies Starts Licensing Next Gen iPad/iPhone GPU
  2. macnisse macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
  3. talkingfuture macrumors 65816


    Dec 4, 2008
    The back of beyond.
  4. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    yep. since the A4 and A5 are package deals. processor + gpu + ram. If they upgrade the gpu, they'll have to upgrade the whole processing unit. So A6.

  5. Onimusha370 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    this A6 is looking like a capable unit for the retina ipad... would be nice to see a RAM increase to 1gb aswell, that'd make a long lasting ipad
  6. JabbaII macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2007
    What a turnaround for PowerVR. It used to be a also-ran in the PC / console industry. Now it powers the most popular devices in the world.
  7. iJays macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2009
    have you read this:

  8. Seo macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2009
    Cupertino, California
    That retina display is going to be showing off some really awesome graphics. Designing GUI mockups for the iPhone 4 really shows the amount of detail on a retina display. Exciting that the iPad's gonna be even better!
  9. Optimus Frag macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2008
    North Yorkshire, England
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    Apple increasingly getting more into providing their own GPU as well as CPU's. Maybe that talk of ARM powered prototype airs wasn't so crazy.

    Still, be a long time in the future before we see anything of the sort, if at all.
  10. maxap macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    All these exciting facts seem to indicate that we are going to see an iPad 3 very soon. :) A new iPad with that amazing Retina display would make it so interesting for the consumers.
  11. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    It wasn't crazy talk at all. It's just more of what Apple's already been doing: controlling their own destiny. They've got the power and resources to go it on their own, with a more than even chance they'll be very successful.
  12. Optimus Frag macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2008
    North Yorkshire, England
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    I was paraphrasing what others were saying.

    I actually thought that the Air being ARM powered wasn't a huge stretch. Maybe a couple of years down the road. I can see those Air's having a relative of these new GPU's powering the graphics however.

    An Air with a retina display.... nice.
  13. Piggie macrumors 604


    Feb 23, 2010
    Bits of the jigsaw falling into Place.

    Samsung demo'd a retina resolution display a month or two ago.
    The hi-res graphics
    The new more powerful CPU/GPU

    So many people are expecting the iPad3 to have the new screen.
    Jaws will hit the floor if they keep the same screen res for the next model.

    The rotten camera the iPad2 has and improving the screen are really the only 2 things the iPad3 needs to do.
  14. jclardy macrumors 68030


    Oct 6, 2008
    I'm thinking they will "have" to. If most apps upgrade to use retina display graphics then all the UI images will be 4x as large in memory which would mean switching apps would suck* compared to iPad 2 if it had the same 512MB of RAM.

    It should be fine with 1GB, but of course people will still be whining when Android tablets start to have 2GB of RAM.

    *"suck" meaning less apps could stay in memory, making the likelihood of an app having to recreate all its views and reload data much greater.
  15. gorgeousninja macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2007
    secret mountain retreat
    Think you might be more easily pleased than some. Just wait for the kid complaining that the iPad3 can't fit the 100Gbs of music they've stolen while running FFPX, and Crysis4 ..oh and it should be in pink...and be free...
  16. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    "Very soon" - nah, sorry, don't believe it. This isn't like Nvidia announcing a new desktop GPU which can just be slotted in to a system. The GPU will be integrated into a SOC which then has to be tested and produced in bulk. None of this is a particularly quick process and Apple won't be in any particular rush considering they're still unable to meet demand for the iPad 2.

    Honestly, unless we see anything along the lines of actual production starting up, I wouldn't expect iPad 3 until around March 2012. There's just so many logistical issues to consider introducing a new iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch at the same time and that's the only slot, surely, they could bring in an iPad 3 before Christmas.
  17. derek1984 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2008
    If people thought the craze for iPad 2 was bad, wait until this drops. I passed on iPad 1 and iPad 2. Waited intentionally for retina. They better make A LOT of these. Compeitition to get one when they first come out is going to be fierce.
  18. BLACKFRIDAY macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
  19. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    Could the current iPad (being 9x faster with graphics) house a "retina" display as a mid-stream revision? All indications point to Apple on the verge of stepping upward to a 4x resolution screen.

    There was a distinct flurry of "news" over the weekend about the fabled, but inevitable, A6. Seems there is an ample amount of public murmuring over the iPad 3 (A6 iPad), and it all seems good. Apple is obviously concentrating very strongly on the tablet; I can't wait to see where it goes.

    Rumors/news indicated the A6 will be too hot for iPhone/iPod use, but will be at home in the iPad.

    With iCloud and some better graphics and processing, the iPad will, in essence, become a full-fledged personal computer. For most people, $499 for such a device is a worthy value compared to some clunky tech for twice the price.
  20. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    To the poster above... I think no one knows how iCloud really will work out, so for now all this talk is just overrated.
  21. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  22. TMay macrumors 68000

    Dec 24, 2001
    Carson City, NV
    Oh yes, "A Clockwork iPad", coming to an Apple Store near you. Gangs of roving iPad 3 buyers.

    Bring your own Cricket gear, or if you are here in the States, as I am, Lacrosse or Hockey gear works fine.
  23. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    It is great to see a portable games platform that evolves at the rate of a major update every year. What I would like to know is if the benefits of new processors and GPUs in future iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads will be reflected on current generation Apple TVs when using the Airplay Mirroring feature of iOS 5. If the Apple TV does not have to match the hardware of the other iOS device it is mirroring then console manufacturers will have new competition in this system.
  24. cvaldes macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    I don't know where you are getting this.

    All indications point to a complete lack of volume manufacturing capacity of a suitable Retina Display in the iPad size.

    There aren't manufacturing lines that are pumping out these parts and I believe at least one manufacturer (Samsung?) has claimed that they were building suitable facilities later this year, which would indicate a functional manufacturing line sometime early next year.

    Let's face it, the only iPad Retina Displays are small batches of engineering samples.

    Apple will not upgrade the iPad to a Retina Display mid-stream.
  25. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
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    Just to note- the Playstation Vita is using a four-core variant of the iPad 2's GPU.

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