Imagination PowerVR Furian GPU Architecture Could Power Apple iPhone 8 And Beyond

Imagination Technologies introduced its next-generation PowerVR Furian architecture, which it says is an entirely new GPU architecture designed for the evolved graphics compute needs of next-generation consumer device. While not specifically stated, those future consumer devices could include Apple's forthcoming iPhone 8 handset, along with iterations that extend beyond the iPhone 8.

It does not take a giant leap of faith to get there. Apple has a history of licensing GPU technology from Imagination Technologies, which the Cupertino outfit injects into its custom A-series system-on-chips (SoCs) used in both its iPhone and iPad product lines. Any improvements introduced by the new PowerVR Furian architecture could conceivably find its way into those same mobile devices.

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In this case, part of the focus is on virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Imagination Technologies mentions these areas, noting that applications that leverage AR and VR experiences require higher resolution graphics and more frame rates than what today's mobile GPU architectures can deliver.

"With Furian, embedded products will be able to deliver high-resolution, immersive graphics content and data computation for sustained time periods within mobile power budgets," Imagination Technologies says.

Mark Dickinson, executive vice president of PowerVR at Imagination Technologies, added that the company created Furian "to address a new class of emerging applications, with a focus on scalability that will extend to multiple generations of PowerVR IP cores." He also said that Imagination Technologies will begin rolling out its first 8XT IP cores based on Furian.

Furian
Source: Imagination Technologies

The PowerVR Furian architecture delivers a 35 percent improvement in GFLOPS density for improved compute and gaming performance efficiency. It also offers an 80 percent improvement in fillrate density for improved UI and casual gaming performance efficiency, with an overall 70 to 90 percent improvement in gaming density.

While nothing is set in stone, it has been rumored that Apple is working on VR for the iPhone 8. It would make sense, as the biggest criticism surrounding the iPhone 7 is the lack of innovation compared to previous iPhone models. Focusing on VR and AR experiences is one way Apple could differentiate the iPhone 8 from the iPhone 7, along with most other smartphones.

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