Full Title: Imagination Technologies Launches Programmable Shader Graphics Family for Wireless Applications
Debut Of PowerVR SGX Wireless Graphics Accelerator Core Family Enables Industry Roadmap For Next Generation Mobile Devices
London, UK, 29th July 2005: Imagination Technologies – a leader in
silicon IP cores – debuts its PowerVR SGX Shader Graphics Accelerator
family, the future of wireless mobile embedded graphics and video
The PowerVR SGX cores for wireless applications
are part of Imagination’s PowerVR Series5 scalable and fully
programmable unified shader graphics and video core family, previously
codenamed Eurasia. The first cores from this family target mainstream
and performance mobile graphics with state-of-the-art support for 2D
and 3D and an industry leading feature set that exceeds OGL 2.0 shader
and Microsoft Vertex and Pixel Shader Model 3 requirements.
SGX is available for licensing in three scaled variants (PowerVR
SGX510, SGX520, SGX530) with sizes ranging from less than 2mm2 to 8mm2
in 90nm technology. These variants will enable a wide range of mobile
devices from basic phones and entry-level feature phones to mainstream
feature phones and advanced feature and smart phones.
its very small size PowerVR SGX will set a tough benchmark that any
competitors will have to stretch to compare with and, with advanced
programmability and state-of-the-art shader features, will enable
content developers to create a distinct new generation of mobile games
and applications,” says Hossein Yassaie, CEO, Imagination Technologies.
PowerVR SGX enables the highest performance, most efficient and
lowest power consumption solution for handheld 3D graphics and video.
Each scalable PowerVR SGX variant provides highly flexible support for
video codecs with zero silicon overhead, using the advanced
programmability of the core.
PowerVR SGX builds on the
architectural benefits found in Imagination’s PowerVR MBX family, which
is already the de facto standard for mobile graphics with licensees
including six of the world’s top 10 semiconductor manufacturers. The
first PowerVR SGX deliverables will be available for shipping to lead
partners from next quarter.
The PowerVR SGX family will co-exist
alongside PowerVR MBX, which is currently integrated in a variety of
devices including mobile handhelds, car navigation and entertainment
PowerVR SGX510, SGX520 and SGX530 are compatible with
content created for PowerVR MBX. PowerVR SGX is backwardly compatible
with key features from the PowerVR MBX family like the vertex shader
programs and 2 and 4-bit PVR-TC texture compression. These
compatibilities, and continued support for all existing PowerVR
extensions to OpenGL ES 1.1, allow comprehensive software support
developed on the PowerVR MBX platform to be carried forward to PowerVR
The PowerVR SGX Difference
PowerVR SGX offers all the advantages of PowerVR’s highly efficient
tile based architecture. Unlike traditional graphics solutions that
demand expensive memory or very large silicon areas, PowerVR's unique,
patented tile-based rendering and deferred pixel shading architecture
allows a very small silicon die to deliver higher performance and
higher image quality, at lower power consumption, than competing
PowerVR SGX takes the PowerVR architecture to
the next level with a unified scalable shader engine (USSE), which
combines vertex shader and pixel shader features in a single scalable
processing unit, enabling mobile semiconductor and device manufacturers
to plan a roadmap where PowerVR will continue to enable the best
performance in the most efficient architecture for the mobile industry.
Shader technology enables superior realism and advanced
features when rendering 3D objects and, by making 3D effects more
programmable, gives freedom to content developers to create more
visually compelling and unique games and applications.
Yassaie: “With its PowerVR deferred pixel shading architecture the
PowerVR SGX family has the lowest core and system power demands. It’s
ideal for unified memory systems plus integrated CPU designs in mobile
and cost sensitive applications. Couple that with wide standards
compatibility, high scalability from a unified shader architecture,
pipeline scalability from 1x to 8x and beyond and video encode and
decode for free, and you have a solution that is demonstrably superior
to any other offering on the market.
“With PowerVR SGX we
expect to maintain our hard-won leadership position on size, power and
performance – and its scalability means it’s suitable for a wide range
of end-user products. The specification says it all: this is the
premier wireless graphics solution and will enable our partners to
continue the reshaping of the mobile multimedia market they have
already begun using our technology.”
Says Dr. Jon Peddie, the
leading market researcher in graphics: “The mobile phone is advancing
in functionality at a 3X pace compared to the PC, and future high-end
phones will incorporate the OpenGL ES 2.0 API with shader capabilities,
similar to features found on high-end PCs. Imagination Technologies,
with design wins in most of the major handsets, continues its lead by
being the first to introduce a design with support for this new API and
we expect this new technology to fuel the next wave in modern advanced
Inside PowerVR SGX
The PowerVR SGX
family features the USSE unified scalable shader engine, which
combines vertex shader and pixel shader features in a single
programmable and highly scalable processing unit. Maximum gate
utilisation is achieved by sharing the unit for both vertex and pixel
processing with optimal automatic load balancing of vertex and pixel
throughput, which are often different from application to application.
SGX’s USSE supports advanced geometry and pixel processing capabilities
such as procedural geometry (e.g. higher order surfaces, data
instancing, path based geometry, point-sprite expansion etc.) and
textures, advanced per pixel and vertex lighting effects (e.g. parallax
bump mapping, refraction and reflection etc). Further, the highly
flexible nature of the USSE architecture allows this programmability to
be applied to many other tasks such as other multimedia related
activities (e.g. physical modelling), flexible video and image
processing and many more. This unified approach to processing also has
the benefit of requiring a single unified programming model with one
compiler, reducing hardware and software qualification time.
SGX’s latency tolerant architecture provides geometry processing and
rasterisation decoupled to achieve minimal stalling as well as no pixel
shading of non-visible pixels and on-chip support for multiple render
targets (MRT). A large proportion of PowerVR SGX’s peak throughput is
achievable in real applications and the architecture has the lowest
bandwidth requirements as PowerVR SGX’s deferred pixel shading gives 2x
- 3x fill rate compared to other solutions at the same bandwidth.
Across the wireless PowerVR SGX family parts effective fillrate
performance is from 200Mpix/sec to 1200Mpix/sec @ 200MHz (with even
higher Z and stencil rates) and polygon throughput is from 2Mpoly/sec
to 13.5Mpoly/sec @ 200Mhz.
Z and Stencil tests are performed
on-chip requiring no external stencil or Z-buffer memory or bandwidth.
Pixel shading and blending are also performed on-chip and compressed
texture support is just part of an industry leading feature set which
also supports OpenGL ES 2.0, OGL 2.0 and Microsoft Shader Model 3.0
capable shaders, procedural geometry and MRTs.
enables compelling image quality via Internal True Colour - enabling
colour operations to be performed on-chip using high precision
mathematics at arbitrary pixel colour precision up to 128bit/IEEE32
floating point - combined with comprehensive programmable
multi-sampling image anti-aliasing for free.
A key benefit of
PowerVR SGX’s tiling architecture is on-chip multiple render targets
(MRT). This technology is unique to PowerVR tile based rendering and
cannot be replicated by an immediate mode renderer (IMR) in a
cost-effective manner. IMRs use conventional external MRTs with huge
external memory storage and bandwidth. PowerVR’s on-chip MRTs result in
low geometry processing with no additional external memory cost and no
additional memory bandwidth cost.
All major 2D operations are accelerated, including: BLTs, Alpha Blend BLTs, ROP 2, 3 & 4s, lines and surface rotation.
SGX fully supports the broadest range of mobile standards including
OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 1.X, D3D Mobile, OpenVG, JSR184 and JSR239,
DX9+ and Open GL 2.0 APIs running under Linux, Symbian, WinCE and
Windows Mobile OS.
Video For Free
Because of PowerVR
SGX’s fully programmable architecture it can support video acceleration
for free, without increasing the size and complexity of the core.
is a core competence of handheld graphics processors and is
increasingly a must-have feature, not just in Personal Media Player
products, but also other mobile devices. PowerVR SGX provides
outstanding image quality and frame rates, offloading video codec
processing (including MPEG-4 and H.264) from the main CPU. For video
operations the host CPU load is minimal and the PowerVR SGX part can
perform motion estimation, motion compensation and transform, residual
generation, transform, quantisation, inverse quantisation, inverse
transform, image reconstruction, and deblocking (H.264), making it
possible to efficiently off load the tasks associated with video
compression/decompression from the host CPU.
As well as
enabling the playback of users own personal media content, PowerVR
SGX’s advanced video capabilities will enable mobile services such as
TV/video-on-demand and video messaging. PowerVR SGX also supports still
image standards including JPEG and JPEG2000.
SGX is the latest family in Imagination’s range of comprehensive visual
IP cores, which cover graphics & video cores, digital video cores
and display & TV cores. For more information about becoming a
PowerVR licensing partner, contact email@example.com.
Source: Imagination Technologies Press Release
Tags: imagination technologies | programmazione | shader | tecnologia