LONDON – Vivante Corp., a supplier of graphics processing unit (GPU) IP cores, has announced that 40 companies have licensed Vivante GPU cores, and multiple customers having integrated Vivante's GPUs into semiconductor products due to launch in 2011.
The company, founded in 2004, did not announce the names of any of its licensees but it is known to have worked with Fujitsu on developing SoC silicon and with design houses VeriSilicon and Global Unichip.
Earlier this month Vivante (Sunnyvale, Calif.) announced that licensees' of multicore silicon implementations of its GC series architecture had reached clock frequencies of over 1-GHz in silicon are now sampling. The company also announced that it had received royalty revenue from multiple customers on shipments of licensed SoC products, during 2010.
Demand for GPU IP cores has increased in 2010, Vivante said, It includes smartphones and tablets; gaming consoles and home entertainment; automotive instrumentation, navigation and rear seat entertainment as well as cost-sensitive applications such as printers, cameras and cordless phones; and non-graphical computing applications.
"In 2010, we saw a number of factors combine to drive healthy increases globally in both the quantity and quality of our GPU IP licensing business," said Wei-Jin Dai, president and CEO of Vivante, in a statement. "The rapid consumer acceptance and demand for Google's Android environment across a range of platforms. The industry's standardization on OpenGL ES 2.0 in application content, as well as the web infrastructure provided by WebGL, Adobe AIR/Flash and HTML5 is driving healthy growth in demand for both our highest performance multicore and established single-core GPUs. We are starting to see our existing customer base migrating to the top end of our product line, and in 2010 we have been successful winning new customers based on the common selection criteria of highest performance in the silicon budget and power consumption envelope."
While NVIDIA have licensed IP in the past (PS3, XBOX1), don't count on getting one if your business involves selling chips.
Interesting that the GC800 found to be the GPU in the Marvell chip on GLBenchmark is claimed by Vivante to be only 1.9 mm^2 in 40nm. Assuming this is not a BS number, I know from painful experience this would be a good bit smaller than Imagination SGX535, but performing more like NVIDIA on the benchmarks.
At least one of the licensees is no doubt Marvel. I was at CES yesterday and saw some products with the Marvell Armada chip set in their booth.
According to GLBenchmark's website, the Armada processor has Vivante's GC860 single-core GPU. Looking at tbe benchmark scores posted on the GLbenchmark site, Vivante's chip seems to have similar performance to the GeForce ULV in NVIDIA Tegra-2. NVIDIA is calling the Tegra-2 an 8-core GPU. If one Vivante core equals eight GeForce cores, then this could explain why Vivante has so many licensees.
It will be interesting to see who licensed the Vivante multicore GPU. Maybe Intel or AMD will put this in a desktop processor some day?
1.Who are the 40 customers?
2.what products are they using it in?
3.Any power/performance benchmarks or comparison with latest Mali/PowerVR/nVidia ULP GPUs?
Without answers to the above questions, it is hard to believe the claims made by the company.
"in 2010 we have been successful winning new customers based on the common selection criteria of highest performance in the silicon budget and power consumption envelope."
Quite an interesting product portfolio. The GC400 is a good offering, efficiency is a great selling point.And with one line of the GPU cores targeting the mobile market, I think they are going to see much growth this coming year.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.