• New PowerVR Chip For 4G iPhone?

    The company whose graphics processing units have powered every iPhone unveiled its new chip at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Friday. The HD-capable PowerVR SGX545 GPU has full support for both OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.0 and can render 40 million polygons per second at 200MHz. Speculation has already begun that this will be the graphics engine used in the fourth-generation iPhone expected this summer.

    The graphics on the iPhone - which have garnered praise over the years - are widely considered overdue for an upgrade: the iPhone's 320 480 display pales in comparison to the Motorola Droid's 854 x 480 pixel screen. An HD-capable iPhone would be a logical next step for the device. The PowerVR core's OpenCL support in the holds out the possibility that the GPU could be used to relieve the main processor on a future iPhone that runs OpenCL software. The SGX545 also supports multithreading, and so could further maximize performance when installed alongside a multi-core processor like the ARM Cortex-A9, which has itself been rumored as the CPU that Apple will use in the 4G iPhone.

    The company expects its chip to be used not just in phones but in netbooks as well, touting the core's DirectX support.

    Combining our many years of experience in the embedded, mobile and PC-based DirectX graphics worlds, PowerVR SGX 545 takes the possibilities of hand-held graphics to a new level by delivering a full DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.x feature set as well as delivering GPU powered OpenCL heterogeneous parallel processing capabilities for the mobile and embedded markets. This makes PowerVR SGX545 a compelling solution for application processor SoC designers targeting the next generation of netbook and MID mobile products demanding exceptional graphics capabilities.
    Imagination has not yet begun production of the SGX545, but says it has begun licensing the chip and, notably, has already produced some test units for a company it refers to as a "lead partner." Given that Apple has used PowerVR cores in every iPhone and iPod touch to date and owns almost ten percent of Imagination, it's not unrealistic to speculate that they are talking about Apple.

    image via cellphones.ca
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