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Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia, processor and communications IP designer, has announced that it is working together with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to drive performance to new levels on Imagination’s PowerVR GPUs. Initial efforts have already achieved 25% overall performance improvement for the PowerVR series 6 “Rogue” GPU core, with key blocks demonstrating as much as 30% improvement compared to existing design flows.

Imagination R&D teams working with TSMC are developing highly-optimised IP libraries and fully characterised reference system designs for Imagination’s IP cores on TSMC’s advanced processes including 28HPM and 16nm FinFET technologies. This collaboration will enable mutual customers to achieve significant performance gains for next-generation applications. Leveraging extensive analysis of factors affecting performance, Imagination is taping out a highly optimised next-generation multi-core, multi-cluster PowerVR series 6 GPU design to characterise these performance improvements and plans to demonstrate a test chip later this year. The resulting reference flow and optimised libraries will enable SoC designers to significantly accelerate time-to-market and increase performance for similar implementations of PowerVR Series6 GPUs.

“The growing reliance on graphics processors to power the best user experiences means the GPU has become the new silicon process driver for the coming decade. It occupies as much as 50% or more of leading edge SoCs, and demands the highest performance memory bandwidth while always delivering high performance at low power. These characteristics are critical to defining the key device parameters of future generation processes. We’re delighted to be working closely with TSMC to ensure future silicon technologies are fully tuned to the needs of next generation’s most advanced SoCs,” said Tony King-Smith, executive vice president of Imagination.

Imagination is a member of TSMC’s Soft-IP Alliance program, through which it is validating its major core IP families to provide the most optimised technologies for mutual customers. Imagination’s IP portfolio is unrivalled in its breadth, including industry-leading PowerVR GPUs (graphics processors) and VPUs (video processors), popular MIPS CPUs and embedded processors; advanced Ensigma RPUs (radio processors) and other IP families.

“Imagination is constantly pushing the envelope in graphics technologies, including exciting new areas such as ray tracing that will help its customers gain maximum benefit from power-efficient silicon processes. Our collaboration with Imagination is helping to optimise future generations of our most advanced process technologies and system design techniques. We are looking forward to the continued expansion of our relationship with Imagination to encompass GPUs, CPUs and more,” said Suk Lee, TSMC senior director of design infrastructure marketing division.

Tags: Imagination, Imagination Technologies, PowerVR, TSMC, 16nm, 28nm, Semiconductor

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