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Return to: 2010 Feature Stories

CLIENT: IMAGINATION TECHNOLOGIES

March 16, 2010: Pocket Gamer    

BY LATE 2010, MOBILE DEVICES WILL HAVE 5 TIMES IPHONE 3GS PERFORMANCE

By Jon Jordan

If you want to know what's really going on in the world of mobile devices you have to talk to the people designing the silicon that's powering the devices being designed for late 2010 and beyond.

That means companies such as ARM, Qualcomm and UK 3D experts (and part owned by Apple) Imagination Technologies.

It's just announced its PowerVR designs have been used in over 250 million devices including the iPhone and iPod touch (models from 2G to 3GS), as well as other signature phones such as Nokia's N95 and N900, Samsung Wave and Sony Ericsson's Satio.

It's also powering Texas Instruments' new OMAP 4 chip platform, which is now being sampled and will be in devices released in late 2010.

iPhone gets dated

"We're looking at a five fold increase in performance with OMAP 4 compared to the current iPhone 3GS-class of devices," says David Harold, Imagination's head of PR.

This is due to chip design that include dual ARM 9-family CPUs combined with Imagination's PowerVR SGX 540 3D hardware.

In keeping with the company's naming convention (first digit family, second digit number of pipes), this includes four processor pipeline, proving plenty of overhead for handling intensive tasks such as OpenGL ES 2.0 shaders.

However the next generation of devices, due 2011, will be using the SGX 543 design, which is designed to be used as a multiple cores, from two up to 16 integrated into the CPU silicon.

At its maximum, this will see a 32-fold increase in graphical performance over the 3GS generation; something that will be represented in 720p displays on mobile devices, as well as the ability to output 1080 resolution imagery to largescreen displays.

The hardware that will power the future PlayStation 3-in-your-pocket is being already designed.

Return to: 2010 Feature Stories