Multi-Core GPUs Announced from iPhone Chip Maker

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Imagination Technologies announced further details of their first multi-core embedded graphics chip called POWERVR SGX543MP this week. The Register explains that the multi-core support in the new chips is essentially transparent to application developers:
In other words, the SGX543 can have any number of cores from two to sixteen with no change in the driver software or the application. All that complex data/pipeline/thread management is done in hardware. No muss, no fuss.
The Register then makes a questionable leap that this could power an Apple Tablet. Still, Apple's interest in the technology seems certain as they are a licensee and investor of Imagination Technologies and currently uses the company's PowerVR chip in the iPhone and iPod Touch.

According to the press release, the new chips are being delivered to customers in two-core and 16-core variants and appear to incorporate support for OpenGL and OpenCL. While Apple has not announced any new hardware revisions to the iPhone, many believe that the next generation iPhone will likely be released alongside the public release of the iPhone 3.0 firmware this summer.

Article Link: Multi-Core GPUs Announced from iPhone Chip Maker
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,017
105
I guess if this is completely transparent to the driver and programmer PowerVR's GPU isn't as much SLI, ie. more than 1 graphics card together, as it is a dual die design like Intel's Core 2 Quad. I guess it's easier to do since it's an embedded design anyways. If all the cores share the same memory pool it'll probably be more efficient to unlike SLI where the memory storage is separated which makes having the separate cards working together more difficult since it's easier for them to work on separate tasks, but hard for them to work on the same task.
 

overanalyzer

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2007
909
0
Boston, MA USA
If Apple releases the many planned features of iPhone OS 3.0, App Developers utilize them as whole-heartedly as they have utilized the SDK so far, and a new multi-core iPhone comes out, I think we're witnessing the beginning of an entirely new era of computer-people integration. The idea of masses of people having a computer with them at all times with this level of capabilities is likely going to alter society every bit as much as the personal computer being widely adopted.


I just hope fart apps aren't the only thing we can accomplish. :rolleyes:
 

adamw

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2006
301
175
Great news. I hope Apple can use this new chip in their products!
 

kcmac

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2002
462
1
A computer that just happens to also be a phone. Looks like I will be upgrading this summer fall if this all comes to light.
 

Enuratique

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2008
276
0
I'm skeptical of this hardware going in the next iPhone revision. My hunch is that what comes out this summer is a minor spec bump (32GB memory, probably better camera / memory that can support many read/writes for recording, maybe a slightly faster CPU) and that the 4th gen iPhone will be what gets these tasty treats... I think Apple has its hands full with ironing out the bugs in iPhone OS3.0 and this hardware may get tried out in a tablet device first as a trial run. I think Apple's investment in PA Semi is what will really make the iPhone a true computer in your pocket.
 

chrisgeleven

macrumors 6502
Apr 28, 2002
466
41
Manchester, NH
I'm skeptical of this hardware going in the next iPhone revision. My hunch is that what comes out this summer is a minor spec bump (32GB memory, probably better camera / memory that can support many read/writes for recording, maybe a slightly faster CPU) and that the 4th gen iPhone will be what gets these tasty treats... I think Apple has its hands full with ironing out the bugs in iPhone OS3.0 and this hardware may get tried out in a tablet device first as a trial run. I think Apple's investment in PA Semi is what will really make the iPhone a true computer in your pocket.
I agree. I think they would need better battery technology to pull off a multi-core processor.
 

shiseiryu1

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2007
533
293
I'm skeptical of this hardware going in the next iPhone revision. My hunch is that what comes out this summer is a minor spec bump (32GB memory, probably better camera / memory that can support many read/writes for recording, maybe a slightly faster CPU) and that the 4th gen iPhone will be what gets these tasty treats... I think Apple has its hands full with ironing out the bugs in iPhone OS3.0 and this hardware may get tried out in a tablet device first as a trial run. I think Apple's investment in PA Semi is what will really make the iPhone a true computer in your pocket.
I agree that it is unlikely the upcoming iPhone will have multiple cores...seems to me that what the iPhone needs in the near future is better battery life, not more cores. The battery already drains like crazy if you use the phone in any meaningful way; fix that first and then I'll be more excited about extra processing power.
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,049
927
Canada
I agree that it is unlikely the upcoming iPhone will have multiple cores...seems to me that what the iPhone needs in the near future is better battery life, not more cores. The battery already drains like crazy if you use the phone in any meaningful way; fix that first and then I'll be more excited about extra processing power.
If you have more cores than you can disable the ones not needed, saving power.
 

Michael73

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2007
1,081
39
I, for one have been holding out buying an iPhone since it launched June 29, 2007 always thinking the hardware and software had some maturing to do. I'm not one of those people who change mobile devices often. In fact, I'm still using a Blackberry 7100 that is more than 4 years old. I firmly believe that with the rollout of v3 of the OS and the third gen of the hardware design, this summer could be the sweet spot to get an iPhone.
 

darwinian

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2008
600
1
In R4, more or less
It's certainly not unreasonable but still an assumption to say that these chips will necessarily draw more power than current iterations. Is this true somewhere?


Disclaimer: no, I have not read the PR fully.
 

Bye Bye Baby

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2004
1,152
0
i(am in the)cloud
I predict a new product not another product for the summer- no new iphone rather some other wizz bang product that will make me want to spend more money.

I love to hate that feeling of "hmm can I pay for this now..."
 
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