Imagination Technologies - Faster GPUs for SoCs

I met with Imagination Technologies, the makers of the GPU in everything from the iPhone 3GS to the Motorola Droid. They were showing off a 1.1GHz Samsung Cortex A8 SoC with an integrated PowerVR SGX 540:

The demo isn't anything impressive, but the GPU should be in the Tegra 2 class of performance. Definitely higher than what's in the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre today. The PowerVR SGX 540 is what is being used in TI's Cortex A9 SoCs, which appear to be the direct competitor to NVIDIA's Tegra 2. I spoke with Samsung about their 1.1GHz A8 SoC (now running at 1.2GHz actually), but I wasn't able to get a firm date on when we can expect A9 based silicon from them.

Our friends at Imagination put together a tech demo of a 3D user interface for TVs running on Intel's CE4100 SoC. The CE4100 was announced back at IDF and integrates an Atom core with PowerVR SGX graphics. Imagation believes that TVs or set-top boxes with chips like the CE4100 will use the GPU in a similar capacity to smartphones: for fancy UIs.

MIPS, another SoC vendor that does a large amount of business in the set-top box market showed off a number of Android devices for the home. Many of these were set-top boxes running Android that could do everything from video playback to watching over-the-air TV:

Unfortunately most cable providers in the US aren't as receptive to devices that can enable content consumption from sources other than cable TV, and thus I wouldn't expect to see much support for technology like this in the US just yet. MIPS has found the best success in Asia for these types of STBs so far.

Index NVIDIA - Fermi Up and Running, Tegra 2
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  • Herrterror - Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - link

    Man, PC case designers are really waiting for that stopped clock to be right again.

    This is why I buy exclusively from Lian Li. I want something that looks like an adult owns it. How many buyers today really care what's under the hood, rather than how it looks? Judging from the popularity of Apple products, a diminishing amount. But I guess WOW players pay the bills, so...
  • DrApop - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    Unless you are a major gamer, who needs these huge ATX cases these days. Manufacturers need to take a hint from the growth of lap/netbook...smaller is better.

    The Mac Mini is beautiful, the regular mac is all in one (No huge box on the floor), Dell has the Zino.

    Newegg has cr@p for small cases - we hardly use CD/DVD drives anymore let alone a floppy disk drive. Why do have the mini/small cases have two external drive openings.....looks stupid!

    Give me a nice 8x8x3 (or smaller) case with a SINGLE slot for a DVD/Blueray drive (I don't need any freakin floppy drive!). Perhaps an external power supply or internal at 200-250 watts. A nice board with an AMD or Intel dual/triple core, 2 gigs mem, 250-500 gig drive and I would be happy (as long as the board does not cost 2x what a micro board costs!!!!!!)

    Give me a small, nice looking case! That is what the vast majority of users actually need...and would actually purchase.

    Do I really need a 3 foot tall case with 5 external bays, a 600 watt power supply, 8 fans, lights all flashing, ready to take off into space?
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Silverstone released a new Mitx case from the Sugo line at CES, but have only seen one SFF site mention it so far.">

    It fits a 5970, so it's only a matter of time before some Mitx fans cram a high end game rig in there. :) I'm looking into this myself.
  • Calin - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Gaming and overclocked rigs will use whatever cooling you an throw to them.
    You could also imagine someone wanting to have both and DVD-RW and a BluRay unit, and two hard drives. This makes a normal ATX case necessary (most mATX cases would be very cramped, have inferiour airflow, be hard to work into in most cases, might not fit big, tower-like coolers and so on.
  • FlyTexas - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    There are a few cases (no pun intended) when you need that multibay, lights, ready for lift off case...

    1. Gaming rigs that have big long video cards installed and need lots of room for cooling the highest end OCed CPUs.

    2. Servers with lots of hard drives in them.
  • Totally - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    [quote]The demo also used NVIDIA's sterescopic 3D technology - 3D Vision. We're hearing that the rumors of a March release are accurate, but despite the delay Fermi is supposed to be very competitive (at least 20% faster than 5870?). The GeForce GTX 265 and 275 will stick around for the first half of the year as Fermi isn't expected to reach such low price/high volume at the start of its life.[/quote]

    GTX 265?
  • spacedude - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    did you guys get a chance to talk to any of the mobo manufactures about the foxconn socket problems???????????
  • filotti - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    What's the deal with the dell tablet and all the secrecy surrounding it?
  • Zool - Sunday, January 10, 2010 - link

    "We're hearing that the rumors of a March release are accurate, but despite the delay Fermi is supposed to be very competitive (at least 20% faster than 5870?"

    That 20% is quite pessimistic. For nvidia just 20% faster for 40% (also at those die areas the defects doesnt increase lineary) more transistors would be worse than gt200. And we doesnt even take into acount power draw and heat of the gt300. Second time to make the same mistake is quite stupid i think.
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, January 11, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately, all 40% of the new die isn't for graphics. A fair bit of it's going to be for the GPGPU stuff. They're not making the same mistake twice, just seeing if they can make a new one. ;)

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