back to article iPhone chip designer trumpets multi-core GPUs

Immersive gaming, photo-realistic graphics, and HD video will soon take a giant step off your desktop and into the palm of your hand with the arrival of a new line of multi-core GPUs aimed squarely at the mobile, handheld, and automotive markets. The new designs are from Imagination Technologies, a fabless chip designer perhaps …

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PowerVR?

Is this the same PowerVR responsible for the Kyro & KyroII graphics cards, circa 2000-2002? They used some clever processing to compensate for a lack of processing power. From what I recall, instead of processing all polygons and textures in a scene then layering them on top of each other (obviously obscuring the ones underneath), the card first figured out what would be on top (ie. in view), and only processed that.

Ultimately a lack of hardware T&L let them down, leaving things to NVidia for a few years until ATi got its act together.

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Not quite accurate

Quote: "The PowerVX SGX543 has four pipelines, so a 16-core PowerVR SGX543MP - imaginatively named the PowerVR SGX543MP16 - will have 64. In graphics-processing terms, that's one hell of a lot of concurrent pixel and vertex shading"

Not quite - the GTX 280 has 240 shader processors, while the Radeon 4870 has 800. 64 is a lot - for a mobile GPU, but not a lot for the entirety of GPGPU computing.

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What about ZiiLabs

The former 3DLabs guys have had some interesting technology for some time, I've always wanted to see it used more widely:

http://www.ziilabs.com/products/processors/zms05.asp

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No muss, no fuss.

"In other words, the SGX543 can have any number of cores from two to sixteen with no change in the driver software or the application. All that complex data/pipeline/thread management is done in hardware. No muss, no fuss."

I'll believe it when it is running my code. I d think that it will help and be worth the effort, I just don't believe there will be no effort.

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Gold badge

Ah! The perennial conundrum.

"And Apple would love to give you a reason to buy more HD movies from the iTunes Store."

The only incentive that I can think of would be a mobile device with a 50" 1080p screen. Oh......wait......

There's a reason that mobile video continually fails to take off, despite the best efforts of just about everyone with a vague connection to the mobile industry to tout it as the Next Big Thing. Personally I reckon it's bleedin' obvious that a 4" display does not a good experience make for anything more serious than laughing at 30-second clips of dancing cats from YouBoob with your mates and that anyone who reckons they can tell the difference between SD and HD on such is a liar. But then I'm not a telecoms provider / handset manufacturer / control-freak computer company / whatever....

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@Jeff

Yes, I believe it is the same. And IIRC, the technology started in the Dreamcast game box.

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Dead Vulture

Bollocks

Firstly, 64 pipelines is fuck all for a modern graphics card (although a fair number for a mobile phone). Larrabee will boast 512 and everyone thinks it's going to be shit (they're wrong though).

Secondly, all GPUs do the "complex data/pipeline/thread management" in hardware or drivers. This is because, for GPU workloads, it's not so complex.

I wish I sold something El Reg knew nothing about - much easier to get the tasty enthusiastic reviews.

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Re: PowerVR?

PowerVR have been making low power chips for years. The bonus of their architecture is that memory bandwidth is saved on a MASSIVE scale. This means that you can use much slower, far less power hungry memory with it.

The newer chips have supported pixel and vertex shaders as well as T&L for a good while now. I'm pretty sure they can even support up to DX10.1 level (ie geometry shaders).

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Happy

@Jeff

Yes it's the same company. It's also mostly the same graphics hardware in the Dreamcast too (which incidentally is the best console ever along with the SNES).

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Paris Hilton

Hert-ford-shire

Please, can we at least pretend you're writing primarily for a UK audience. We know where Hertfordshire is. There's only one, so very little scope for confusion.

Paris, 'cos there are at least 19 places named after her in the US of A alone. They are named after her, surely?

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ian
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Thumb Up

Multicore? iPhone?

I anxiously await my massively parallel iPhone 1024G.

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Paris Hilton

divx?

what's all this divx thing about?

www.divx.com

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Flame

Meh

Who cares? I have a LAPTOP when I want some mobile GPU output. I refuse to become a sheep for Apple's latest fanboy wankfest.

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