Imagination Technologies has promised mobile-device vendors the ability to fight back against the vertical integration of Apple – which once relied on the IP maker’s products – with a new generation of graphics processing units (GPUs) designed to handle compute acceleration.
Jon Peddie, principle and founder of market analyst firm Jon Peddie Research, said: “The simple fact is that for mobile SoCs the market leader owns its own GPU technology and is increasing market share at rate of 5% year-on-year. In order to stop the losses to their own potential share the other mobile SoC companies need a compelling GPU that will deliver some real competition. Imagination’s A-Series can do that.”
According to Imagination, the IMG A-Series delivers a significant improvement, at the same clock and process, offering 2.5x the performance, 8x faster machine learning processing, and 60 percent lower power than current PowerVR devices shipping. The company claims the top-end model of the A-series deliver the highest-performance mobile GPU IP, with a peak throughput of 2TFLOPS for graphics and compute operations and 8TOPS for AI-focused code using a fixed-function accelerator designed for neural networks. The architecture scales down to the IMG AXE-1-16, with performance of around 16GFLOPS and a graphics throughput of 1 pixel per clock.
For compute acceleration, the A-Series implements a technique the company calls HyperLane. This creates individual hardware control lanes, each isolated in memory to allow different tasks to be submitted to the GPU simultaneously. Priority HyperLanes deliver a dynamic split; for example, prioritising graphics across as many of the internal shader cores needed to run those tasks while an AI task runs alongside using the remaining capacity. HyperLane technology can also isolate protected content for rights management. All IMG A-Series GPUs support up to eight HyperLanes.
As well as targeting mobile handsets, Imagination has its eyes on automotive dashboards and ADAS, offering a support package with long-term support and documentation for processes based on ISO 26262.