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PowerVR Series9 Starts at Low End

September 26, 2017

Author: Loyd Case

Imagination has built on its Rogue architecture by offering the new PowerVR Series9 intellectual property (IP). These low-end GPUs increase performance relative to the older PowerVR Series8XE and Series8XEP through architectural tweaks as well as more ALU and pixel-engine combinations. Imagination expects production RTL to ship in 4Q17.

Designers can optimize the GPU cores for compute performance, fill-rate performance, or a balance of the two. Series9XM includes the GM9440, offering an engine that delivers eight PPC and 128 FP32 operations per clock. It overlaps the low-end Series7XT in performance, though its emphasis remains performance per area.

The new PowerVR GPU IP also comes with tweaks to increase performance compared with similarly configured Series8XE/XEP designs. One- and two-PPC variants of Series9XE perform roughly 25% faster than their Series8XE counterparts on industry-standard benchmarks. The four-PPC version runs about 15% faster. Among the architectural updates, which boost performance and bandwidth as well, are parameter compression, tile grouping, and a new cache hierarchy.

These additional improvements cut silicon area, though Imagination withheld estimates of how much. They also reduce power consumption, partly owing to lower bandwidth. All told, the company posits a 70% advantage in performance per area relative to its nearest competitor—likely the Mali-G51—but did not provide details to support this comparison.

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