Among all the chipsets and GPU names in the mobile world Imagination’s PowerVR tech consistently ranks among the best. PowerVR chipsets have been around far longer than the smartphone mobile world but they were made particularly popular when Apple employed them in the iPhone lineup. Since then PowerVR chipsets have moved to the 6th and 7th generation chipsets and include plenty of new features that push performance of mobile graphics processing to the next level. Today Imagination is announcing GPU solutions that aren’t designed for the high-end though, instead Imagination is focusing on the next big growth in the mobile space: entry-level mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables.
As a GPU provider PowerVR provides the graphics portion of a chipset, not the processor itself, and as such ends up being paired with a number of CPUs out there. In fact the most recent phone we’ve reviewed with a PowerVR chipset in it is the Meizu MX4, which is a high-end performer at a mid-range price. Imagination’s new PowerVR G6020 chipset is here to address and even more affordable lineup of phones, the ones selling under $100 off-contract. As such Imagination is targeting a 720p 60 frames per second experience with these chipsets, understanding that the displays on such inexpensive phones won’t likely go above 720p for some time. The PowerVR G6020 is an OpenGL ES 3.0 capable GPU and includes support for both Android and Android Wear. Given that many entry-level phones and Android Wear devices are all powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset this strategy makes plenty of sense.
Getting down to some more technical specifications Imagination is using GP16 ALU pipes designed to deliver high quality image processing to a single interface since there’s not generally going to be a lot of geometry processing required on these types of devices. Overall performance of the GPU is between 400-500 Mpixels/second and 12.8 to 16 FP16 GFLOPS at a mere 400-500MHz. This keeps the power requirements and the heat levels down where they need to be without sacrificing user experience. All of this is designed to fit inside of a 64-bit MIPS I6400 multicore architecture. Look for these GPUs to make their way into chipsets powering wearables and ultra-affordable phones sometime this year.