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Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Imagination Debuts First PowerVR Series8XT IP Core Based on New Furian GPU Architecture

Imagination Technologies today announced the first GPU IP core based on its new PowerVR Furian architecture, the Series8XT GT8525, designed for SoCs that power smartphones, AR/VR headsets and automotive fusion products.

Furian is designed to enable consumer devices to deliver high-resolution, immersive graphics content and data computation for sustained time periods within mobile power budgets. Imagination says that the two-cluster GT8525 offers performance, power and area, as well as unique features for customers designing SoCs for products such as high-end smartphones and tablets, mid-range dedicated VR and AR devices and mid- to high-end automotive infotainment and ADAS systems.

The GT8525 addresses the need for improvements in sustained performance for gaming in constrained power footprints, including for mobile VR uses. It also allows new mobile use cases requiring greater compute availability, such as the use of neural networks (including CNNs) for object identification.

With dramatically increased compute efficiency and built-in hardware virtualization, the GT8525 addresses the increasing trend toward combining infotainment with electronic dash and some ADAS functionality on the same SoC.

The GT8525 also provides the high resolution and high sustained frame rate graphics required on standalone AR/VR headsets. The GT8525 includes hardware and software specifically designed for minimizing the critical motion-to-photon latency.

PowerVR Series8XT GT8525 by the numbers

Compared to the Series7XT GT7200 GPU, the GT8525 achieves:

  • More than 50% fps improvement on the industry-standard Manhattan benchmark test, one of the de-facto benchmarks for mobile and other applications, and 80% TRex
  • More than 50% improvement in fps for the Antutu benchmark - another key benchmark
  • 2x PPC throughput (8 pixels/clock compared with 4 for GT7200), allowing for higher resolutions, and additional performance for previously fill rate limited use cases
  • 50% more GFLOPs, and more accessible GFLOPs, enabling easier exploitation of the cores full potential for graphics and compute

The Furian architecture at the heart of the GT8525 features improvements in performance density, GPU efficiency, and system efficiency. It incorporates many of the features found on the PowerVR, including Imagination's Tile Based Deferred Rendering (TBDR), which has been proven over multiple generations of PowerVR GPUs to provide highly efficient embedded graphics.

Furian also features a new 32-wide ALU cluster design for increased performance density and efficiency. A new instruction set architecture (ISA) in the primary and secondary ALU pipelines enables improved utilization of resources and thus efficiency, and multi-threading optimizations allow efficient and very flexible access to on-chip local compute memory. Furian is designed to address the increasing compute requirements across multiple applications and market segments with efficient use of compute APIs including OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.0 and OpenVX 1.1.

  GT8525 GT7200 Plus
Clusters 2 2
FP32 FLOPS/Clock 192
(128 MAD + 64 MUL)
FP16 Ratio 2:1 (Vec2) 2:1 (Vec2)
Pixels/Clock (ROPs) 8 4
Texels/Clock 8 4
APIs OpenGL ES 3.2 + Vulkan OpenGL ES 3.2 + Vulkan
OpenCL 2.x 2.0
Architecture Furian Rogue

The GT8525 is available for licensing now. The company announced that the design has already been delivered to their (unnamed) lead customer. Traditionally this would be Apple, but of course Apple will be rolling out their own GPU architecture starting in the next 1-2 years.

Furian and the GT8525 will be a critical product for Imagination. Last week, Imagination announced they are doubling-down on their GPU products and selling off everything else.

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