Tuesday, December 3rd 2019

Imagination launches IMG A-Series Graphics Architecture: "The GPU of Everything"

Imagination Technologies announces the tenth generation of its PowerVR graphics architecture, the IMG A-Series. The fastest GPU IP ever released, IMG A-Series evolves the PowerVR GPU architecture to fulfil the graphics and compute needs of the full spectrum of next-generation devices. Designed to be "The GPU of Everything" IMG A-Series is the ultimate solution for multiple markets, from automotive, AIoT, and computing through to DTV/STB/OTT, mobile and server.

The IMG A-Series' multi-dimensional approach to performance scalability ranges from 1 pixel per clock (PPC) parts for the entry-level market right up to 2 TFLOP cores for performance devices, and beyond that to multi-core solutions for cloud applications. Dr. Ron Black, CEO, Imagination Technologies, says: "IMG A-Series is our most important GPU launch since we delivered the first mobile PowerVR GPU 15 years ago and the best GPU IP for mobile ever made. It offers the best performance over sustained time periods and at low power budgets across all markets. It really is the GPU of everything."
In every dimension IMG A-Series delivers a significant improvement, at the same clock and process, offering 2.5x the performance, 8x faster machine learning processing and 60% lower power than current PowerVR devices shipping.

Compared to other GPU IP solutions available today IMG A-Series delivers higher performance, lower power (compared to competitors at the same clock and process), and lower bandwidth (at the same cache size as competitors) and all at a smaller silicon size. Its architecture also offers strong differentiators such as guaranteed 50% image compression data (lossless in most cases, or visually lossless in exception cases).

Jon Peddie, principle and founder, Jon Peddie Research, says: "The simple fact is that for mobile SoCs the market leader owns its own GPU technology and is increasing market share at rate of 5% year-on-year. In order to stop the losses to their own potential share the other mobile SoC companies need a compelling GPU that will deliver some real competition. Imagination's A-Series can do that."

IMG A-Series is already licensed for multiple markets and the first SoC devices are expected in 2020.

The IMG A-Series cores
IMG A-Series, the highest performance mobile GPU IP ever released, is available in four high-performance configurations:
  • IMG AXT-64-2048 for flagship performance; 2.0 TFLOPS, 64 Gpixels and 8 TOPS of AI performance
  • IMG AXT-48-1536 for premium mobile; 1.5 TFLOPS, 48 Gpixels and 6 TOPS
  • IMG AXT-32-1024 for high-performance mobile and automotive; 1 TFLOPs, 32 Gpixels and 4 TOPS
  • IMG AXT-16-512 for high-mid-performance mobile and automotive; 0.5 TFLOPS, 16 Gpixels and 2 TOPS
  • IMG AXM-8-256 for mid-range mobile; 0.25 TFLOPS, 8 Gpixels and 1 TOPS
For lower cost segments IMG A-Series delivers the best in area, cost and efficiency:
  • IMG AXE-2-16 for premium IoT, entry DTV/STB, display and other fillrate driven applications; 2 PPC, 16 GFLOPS and 2 Gpixels
  • IMG AXE-1-16 for entry-level mobile and IoT and the fastest Vulkan-capable GPU in its class; 1 PPC, 16 GFLOPS and 1 Gpixels
The Gamers GPU
Most mobile GPUs struggle to deliver consistent gaming experiences due to thermal constraints - they are fast for a short while, then slow to unacceptable levels and then never recover, resulting in a disappointing user experience. IMG A-Series delivers sustained performance for extended game play at consistent frame rates avoiding thermal panic clock throttling, glitches or overheating.

IMG A-Series' PowerVR architecture has an inherent bandwidth and power advantage because its tile-based deferred rendering technology means it only draws what is visible on screen. This is combined with advanced direct flexible power signalling using Pro-Active DVFS (Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling) and Deadline Scheduling algorithms, which deliver fast power control with ultra-low latency response. If parts of the GPU aren't fully utilised or needed for processing, they are immediately slowed down or even put to sleep to ensure optimal power efficiency.

The IMG A-Series aims to deliver the best gaming user experience by delivering sustained stable framerates. This requires high GPU power efficiency and this is provided by PowerVR's smart flexible firmware based low-latency DVFS algorithms with a direct GPIO control path into the system. All of this is combined with a strong focus on delivering visually impeccable pixels via features such as the industry-leading visually lossless PVRIC compression and completely reworked anisotropic sampling and level of detail algorithms.

Jane, vice president, Chukong Technologies, says; "Gaming today requires considerable graphics processing capability. With gaming accounting for over 40% of all smartphone use, having the best GPU is a key differentiator. Imagination is again pushing the boundaries of what is possible with mobile graphics, combining fast and consistent GPU performance with sustained battery life."

IMG A-Series is supporting by the industry's leading toolset and SDK, offering new features, such as hardware-based tile heat maps, to help developers optimise their content.

HyperLane
The IMG A-Series features Imagination's HyperLane technology; individual hardware control lanes, each isolated in memory, enabling different tasks to be submitted to the GPU simultaneously for secure GPU multitasking. With Dynamic Performance Control, the GPU can spread its performance across these multiple tasks, executing them all, while maximising GPU utilisation. Priority HyperLanes deliver a dynamic split; for example, prioritising graphics and delivering all the required performance for that application while an AI task runs alongside using the remaining performance. HyperLane technology can also isolate protected content for rights management. All IMG A-Series GPUs support up to eight HyperLanes.

HyperLane also enables a new feature, AI Synergy. This new option enables SoC designers to take advantage of the incredible levels of compute capability in the IMG A-Series to accelerate their AI workloads. Through AI Synergy the GPU delivers graphics performance, while using its spare resource to enable programmable AI alongside a fixed-function, highly-optimised Imagination neural network accelerator. AI Synergy delivers programmable AI in the lowest silicon area, while a unified software stack enables flexibility and great performance.

IMG A-Series summary
  • The best performing GPU IP ever
  • 5x performance density compared to the best current shipping PowerVR devices
  • Scales for use in all GPU market segments
  • Single core options from 1 PPC to 2.0 TFLOPS
  • High-performance density giving the best implementation cost for manufacturers and device price for consumers
  • HyperLane Technology including support for multizone hardware virtualization technology delivering stability, security and robustness
  • Automotive options package with long-term support, ISO 26262 certification readiness and documentation
  • 1 lossless or visually lossless image compression, guaranteeing 50% bandwidth and footprint reduction all the time
  • Advanced flexible direct power control technology
  • Unified AI API for use in combination with PowerVR neural network accelerators
  • Supports the latest API standards including OpenGL ES, Vulkan, OpenCL
For more information, visit this page.
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10 Comments on Imagination launches IMG A-Series Graphics Architecture: "The GPU of Everything"

#1
xkm1948
May be good for some light weight augmented reality applications
Posted on Reply
#2
jabbadap
Does any phone SoC even have PowerVR anymore after Apple stopped using them? Qualcomm has adreno, Mediatek/HiSilicon/Samsung has Arm Mali etc. It's quite sad to see such a good gpu unused.
Posted on Reply
#3
Assimilator
"The fastest GPU IP ever released" cool story Imagination.
Posted on Reply
#4
R0H1T
jabbadap
Does any phone SoC even have PowerVR anymore after Apple stopped using them? Qualcomm has adreno, Mediatek/HiSilicon/Samsung has Arm Mali etc. It's quite sad to see such a good gpu unused.
Mediatek does use PowerVR & I remember a few other big names especially with the embedded chips.
Posted on Reply
#5
R-T-B
Assimilator
"The fastest GPU IP ever released" cool story Imagination.
Key words are "IP" and "released."

Radeon and Geforce etc are not released IPs.
Posted on Reply
#6
remixedcat
Wonder if they're gonna have another Intel bastardization like the GPU in my Daktek Plaidmate netbooks. Ugh a total nitemare to get it workin on 64 bit windows or Linux. It literally IS THE ONLY PEICE OF HARDWARE DRIVER that keeps those machines on 32 bit OSes. Imagination tech really made it and Intel stuck thier name on it.

I have those two for my at home spa days so I'm not out much if I get product on them lol. (got 2 of them for 32 bucks)
Posted on Reply
#7
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Id like a consumer PowerVR discrete GPU fully fleged out that is a joint venture, akin to S3 etc
Posted on Reply
#8
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
eidairaman1
Id like a consumer PowerVR discrete GPU fully fleged out that is a joint venture, akin to S3 etc
You’re definitely thinking of a niche it could fill.
Posted on Reply
#9
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
INSTG8R
You’re definitely thinking of a niche it could fill.
Well to put some pressure on AMD since Intel is focused on AI.


IIRC PowerVR was in the Sega Dreamcast and for its time had better graphics than PS2
Posted on Reply
#10
INSTG8R
My Custom Title
eidairaman1
Well to put some pressure on AMD since Intel is focused on AI
Well it would certainly shuffle things up. I‘m not expecting anything groundbreaking from Intel’s offering as far as their GPU endeavour. Rumour mill has me believing Intel is taking design tips from Raj‘s dated ideas
Posted on Reply