Imagination takes aim at AMD, Nvidia with Series 7 GPU

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Imagination Technologies announced the latest turn of the crank for its graphics cores, which are mainly used in smartphones and tablets. The PowerVR Series 7 sports 35-60% better performance than the previous generation and adds a range of new features, including support for the first time for use in high-performance computing markets, where AMD and Nvidia currently hold sway.

The Series 7 chips are the company's first to support designs that deliver up to 1.5 TFlops, using up to 512 cores — 16 clusters, each with 32 arithmetic logic units. The high-end configuration targets notebook and console graphics, as well as servers running general-purpose GPU programs, typically under OpenCL. Nvidia has long pioneered with its Cuda environment for the GPU server, a diverse space of scientific and business applications.

Imagination hopes its SoC customers can offer more power-efficient GPUs for high-end computing, just as ARM's partners are trying to offer more power-efficient CPUs for servers. The company has no public design wins in the sector yet.

The high-end performance could also help PowerVR SoCs get into laptops such as those made by Apple, which currently uses AMD Radeon chips in its notebooks and desktops but PowerVR in iPhones and iPads. Imagination also targets video game consoles such as the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox, which also use AMD graphics chips.

A high-end Series 7XT supports optional HPC or Windows DX11 packages.

A high-end Series 7XT supports optional HPC or Windows DX11 packages.

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