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Apple and Imagination Technologies have announced that they had extended their multi-year licensing agreement. Under the terms of the contract, Apple can integrate current and future PowerVR graphics processing units designed by ImgTec into its own application processors used inside its consumer electronics products.

Apple has extended its multi-year, multi-use license agreement, which gives Apple access to Imagination's wide range of current and future PowerVR graphics and video IP cores. Under the terms of the above licensing arrangement, Imagination will receive on-going license fees, and royalty revenues on shipment of SoCs (Systems on Chip) incorporating Imagination's IP.


Apple iPhone 5S with PowerVR 6-series “Rogue” GPU renders Infinity Blade III video-game based on Unreal Engine 3 originally designed with personal computers and video game consoles in mind.

Apple has exclusively used PowerVR graphics cores inside its A-series system-on-chips for iPhone, iPad, iPoe, Apple TV and other devices since 2010. PowerVR graphics cores provide very high performance without requiring massive memory bandwidth and processing power thanks to tile-based deferred rendering technology. Ultimately, more efficient architecture leads to lower consumption of energy compared to other GPU architectures.

Apple’s latest A7 SoC packs multi-cluster PowerVR 6-series “Rogue” graphics engine that supports the latest graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 3/2/1.1, OpenGL 3.x/4.x as well as emerging GPU compute APIs including OpenCL 1.x and Renderscript Compute. Going forward, Apple will continue to utilize future-generations of PowerVR graphics engines.


Mainboard of Apple iPhone 5S with A7 SoC. Image by iFixit.com web-site.

At present Apple is preparing to start experimental production of its A8 system-on-chip that will power its eight-generation iPhone as well as sixth-generation iPad that are both due this fall. The development of A9 chip is at full swing with “feature lock-down” stage due probably sometimes this summer. The A9 or A10 SoCs might utilize ImgTec’s next-gen graphics.

It is interesting to note that so far Apple has not publicly expressed interest towards MIPS general-purpose processing cores also developed by Imagination Technologies. Apple could use such chips inside its iWatch and other ultra-low-power electronics that needs long battery life.

Tags: Apple, iPhone, iPad, iPod, iOS, Imagination Technologies, PowerVR, Rogue

Discussion

Comments currently: 6
Discussion started: 02/13/14 05:12:32 AM
Latest comment: 02/16/14 03:13:07 AM
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1. 
Apple domination is getting over as this year Android will have much better SOCs with Tegra K1 GPUs which will be by many generations ahead of PowerVR GPUs.
Tegra K1 already supports all the latest OpenGL 4.4, DirectX 11.1, Unreal Engine 4 etc... which will not be supported by PowerVR for many more years.
1 0 [Posted by: calzahe  | Date: 02/13/14 05:12:32 AM]
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Good rebuttal. The only problem with your statement is very ppl few buy ipads through prior research. People buy Ipads because Apple is Red Hot. There devices work and they have awsome tech support. Microsoft on the other hand offers surface with a similar price, about 1/4 the quality of apple components both in terms of performance and physical quality, and with the world worst tech support.

Even though apple may fall slightly behind thanks to Nvdia, they won't sell less of them this much I promise you.
0 0 [Posted by: ericore  | Date: 02/14/14 12:10:57 AM]
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2. 
Unfortunately Tegras' GPUs are not done for Phones and their power consumption are too high for a feasible utilization in handset. Tegra K1 is good for top of the line tablets and game davices, in short words it has a standard PC GPU downsized to mobile.
Right now the whole Tegra line is a failure.
2 0 [Posted by: Gondalf  | Date: 02/13/14 06:52:28 AM]
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Nothing that is released is a complete failure; if it was it would not be released. It's simply as you said aiming for performance rather power consumption. Bare in mind, its designed for the automotive industry and not for tablets; don't insult Nvidia's intelligence they know the K1 doesn't fit the tablet power envelop.
0 0 [Posted by: ericore  | Date: 02/14/14 12:15:08 AM]
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3. 
Nvidia's Terga K1 is able to run the full desktop versions of OpenGL, and OpenCL, etc, and should be able to run a full version of Linux! The K1 would make a great device to run Steam OS on a tablet, rather than android OS(which is more for consumption than creating). Any tablet that has a K1 will have the advantage of being able to have more desktop applications readily available any software written for the Linux OS, 32 bit for the Arm 15 based K1, and 64 bit for the custom ARMv8 ISA denver cores version of the K1. There is a whole market for full OS based tablets, at a more affordable price, and the Tegra K1 has Kepler based graphics, so the drivers are already there. Android may be OK for phones, but before I buy a tablet, the tablet will have to come will a full linux distro, and the Intel based graphics tablets, are just too expensive. From the Tegra's demos at CES, this SOC should be great for Blender Mesh Modeling, and gimp graphics and I hope that maybe a steam OS tablet will appear based on the K1 for full linux OS support(Steam OS being based on Debian Linux).
0 0 [Posted by: BigChiefRunAmok  | Date: 02/13/14 05:29:24 PM]
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Hmm...that's an interesting example of usage. I guess, notebook shipments are really going to drop through the years as they get more sophisticated starting with PRO tablets of Samsung and rumored iPad PRO.


0 0 [Posted by: zodiacfml  | Date: 02/16/14 03:13:07 AM]
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