If you've been in the world of computer graphics for any amount of time you've probably heard of PowerVR. Those who have been around this industry for more than a few years will definitely know the name from when graphics processors were in their infancy in the PC world, and PowerVR continued to make a name for themselves in Apple's iPhone throughout the years as the vendor of choice for visuals. While many Android phones have used PowerVR chipsets over the years Qualcomm's Adreno graphics processors have been much more popular with OEMs for a number of reasons, but Imagination Technologies is aiming to shake up the industry with its latest series of mobile GPUs.
Focusing on a number of categories that cover a broad variety of phones and tablets, PowerVR is introducing two main series of GPU: the Series7XT and Series7XE lines. Both of these new lines focus on not just improving performance, but also in improving the all-important performance-per-watt ratio that GPUs, particularly in the mobile space, have focused on for quite a while now. Architecturally these two new lines don't differ a whole lot in design from the Series 6 GPUs found in phones like the Meizu MX4, but they are considerably more energy efficient. Up to 60% more efficient in fact, and that's something that Imagination Technologies needs to effectively compete with Qualcomm in the mobile space.
The Series7XE focuses on the budget line of devices that have becoming increasingly popular, and Imagination is using Google's tagline of "reaching the next billion devices" by heavily pushing the Series7XE GPUs. We've seen from the Android One program and phones like the Karbonn Sparkle V that even entry-level phones can do everything their bigger, more expensive brethren can do, and Imagination is aiming squarely at these types of devices. Furthering the sub-$200 phone market with more powerful GPUs that use less power, the Series7XE attempts to take Android 5.0 Lollipop's new Android Extension Pack (AEP) GPU functionality to a whole new market and provide graphics that were once only thought to be on high-end devices.
The PowerVR Series7XT attempts to bring desktop-class GPU performance to the mobile while still offering significant power savings. Featuring up to 60% faster graphics processing efficiency, these GPUs are pushing the envelope for what was once thought possible on any mobile device. Bringing new technologies like tessellation and compute shading to mobile devices is just the start for Imagination, and providing shaling from 2 shading clusters with 64 ALU cores all the way up to 16 shading clusters and 512 ALU cores bridges the gap between different types of devices in the market. Look for these new PowerVR GPUs to start shipping in Spring 2015, and check out the PowerVR blog below for all the details.