back to article A little product renaming here, a little RISC-V magic there, some extra performance, and voila – Imagination's 10th-gen PowerVR is born

Imagination will today launch the tenth generation of its PowerVR family, with GPU cores aimed at rendering 3D graphics and other imagery for all sorts of stuff, from phones and cars to PCs and servers. There are a number of things to note with this particular roll out, which essentially marks Imagination's comeback bid after …

  1. Bruce Hoult

    RISC-V management core

    It's just the system management core, the same as Nvidia are doing, not the actual GPU cores like Think Silicon announced

    https://think-silicon.com/2019/12/02/think-silicon-demonstrates-early-preview-of-industrys-first-risc-v-isa-based-3d-gpu-at-the-risc-v-summit/

    Still, good to see, and there will be more and more things like this.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: RISC-V management core

      Ah yeah, should have mentioned Imagination's using RV just like Nvidia (see Register passim for Nvidia usage) but I think this article makes clear it's a management core in the A-series of GPUs.

      C.

  2. Mark #255

    And driver support?

    Twice I've had PowerVR chips in my machines:

    • a Matrox m3D which only had drivers for Windows 98
    • An eeePC (1101HA to be exact), which had abysmal graphics performance under Linux because the Intel chipset incorporated Imagination silicon, and they wouldn't/couldn't release accelerated drivers for linux

    ...so I might give these a wide berth

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: And driver support?

      Yeah, my first accelerator card was an m3D as well, back in the day. Wasn't too impressed with it after the first few minutes.

      Then I got a VooDoo 2 and never looked back.

      Still, it's good to know that they've been improving. This new gen is no m3D, that's for sure, but it won't be beating the RTX 2080 any time soon.

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: And driver support?

      Mine was the s3 virge... Some companies get there first and still don't become the ones to dominate the market.

      1. paulf Silver badge

        Re: And driver support?

        I seem to recall I had an STB graphics card in my Gateway 2000 Pentium 2 computer about 20 odd years ago, and that had an S3 Virge chipset. The STB drivers for the card were utterly awful - seconds per frame performance. I managed to track down the reference chipset drivers from S3 and they were superb with decent 3D performance. I can still remember playing Touring Car on that machine, to the envy of my friends at University!

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: And driver support?

      I was trying to remember where I'd heard of PowerVR (and there's a name that was coined back in the first VR 'boom'), and then I remembered, GMA 500 integrated graphics in Intel Atom CPUs. Slow and poorly supported.

      Intel never bothered releasing updated drivers for them, and they're probably mostly responsible for the terrible reputation of integrated graphics and Atom CPUs to this day. Terrible hardware.

      1. DialTone

        Re: And driver support?

        I'll always associate PowerVR with the Dreamcast - where it was used to great effect!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And driver support?

        Completely wrong I'm afraid. The issues with the GMA500 were due to Intel deciding to write their own drivers and making a balls of it. Nothing to do with Imagination or "bad" hardware.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    ISTR some problems with licensing drivers in the past that limited the distros that could be put on my little MSI ret-top. I hope they've got their heads round that nonsense.

  4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "This means things like protected movie content can be streamed via its own lane without other software snooping on it..."

    I sense a side channel attack.

  5. Inspector71
    Happy

    Dope

    More old school hip hop subheadings please.

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