Bookmark and Share


Imagination Technologies, which could not popularize its graphics accelerators for PCs in early 2000s and decided to concentrate on mobile graphics adapters instead, may return to PCs and bring-in real-time ray-tracing accelerators.

Imagination Technologies tried to popularize its tile architecture for graphics processing units (GPUs) in the late nineties and the early thousands. While some products, e.g. Power VR Kyro, managed to boast respectable levels of performance, ImgTec could not capture significant share of the market due to very fast progress demonstrated by ATI Technologies and Nvidia Corp. and the lack of ties with PC OEMs. But the company may get back to discrete accelerator cards for personal computers already this year when it launches real-time ray-tracing accelerators.

Back in late 2010, ImgTec acquired Caustic Graphics, a startup that was working on rather unique ray-tracing technologies that even developed patented hardware and software technologies to radically lower the cost and dramatically increase the efficiency and performance of ray tracing. For example,  Caustic technology allowed the coexistence of traditional polygon based rendered objects (e.g. objects created using OpenGL ES) and life-like ray-traced elements in the same scene.

At present Caustic and Imagination are working in a discrete real-time accelerator with the aim to release one in 2012, which will be the first PowerVR discrete solution in more than ten years, according to VR-Zone web-site. The companies already demonstrated real-time ray-tracing acceleration at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month using OpenRL 3.0 "Brazil" SDK, hence, the product works. It is unknown whether the companies used an FPGA for demonstration of the ray-tracing capability, or built a graphics processor based on PowerVR 6-series architecture that is powerful enough to handle complex things like realtime ray-tracing.

At present professional and specialized that demand photo-realistic and cinema quality graphics rendering solutions take advantage of ray-tracing technology. There are many talks that eventually consumer graphics adapters and software will also use ray-tracing tech once it becomes enough cost-efficient. The latest PowerVR 6-series graphics technology is already powerful and feature-rich enough to match mainstream graphics solutions of today. Provided that its performance is on par with ATI Radeon HD 7000-series and GeForce 7-series "Kepler" GPUs, and it can do ray-tracing efficiently, ImgTec may find itself competing on the market of PC graphics again. Initially, only in some segments.

Tags: Imagination Technologies, Imagination, ImgTec, PowerVR


Comments currently: 0

Add your Comment

Related news

Latest News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10:40 pm | ARM Preps Second-Generation “Artemis” and “Maya” 64-Bit ARMv8-A Offerings. ARM Readies 64-Bit Cores for Non-Traditional Applications

7:38 pm | AMD Vows to Introduce 20nm Products Next Year. AMD’s 20nm APUs, GPUs and Embedded Chips to Arrive in 2015

4:08 am | Microsoft to Unify All Windows Operating Systems for Client PCs. One Windows OS will Power PCs, Tablets and Smartphones

Monday, July 21, 2014

10:32 pm | PQI Debuts Flash Drive with Lightning and USB Connectors. PQI Offers Easy Way to Boost iPhone or iPad Storage

10:08 pm | Japan Display Begins to Mass Produce IPS-NEO Displays. JDI Begins to Mass Produce Rival for AMOLED Panels

12:56 pm | Microsoft to Fire 18,000 Employees to Boost Efficiency. Microsoft to Perform Massive Job Cut Ever Following Acquisition of Nokia