SAN JOSE, Calif. — Imagination Technologies unveiled a next-generation architecture for its PowerVR mobile graphics core. The 8XT, aka Furian architecture, is expected to help to win back shares that it lost over the past year to the Mali core from rival ARM Ltd.
On average, Imagination expects Furian to deliver about 30% power savings at the same performance or about 35% performance at the same power. It should support 35% more GFLOPs, an 80% higher fill rate and 70% to 90% better performance on games. The name Furian refers to an alien race in a movie, the Chronicle of Riddick, known for their strength and acute senses.
The architecture’s key enhancement is its use of twice as many pipelines in its basic building block, its arithmetic logic units. Each ALU now sports 32 pipelines, up from 16 in Rogue. In addition, their instruction set has been optimized for emerging applications in automotive, virtual and augmented reality, and machine learning.
Imagination found that the Furian ALUs hit higher utilization rates by connecting registers with a multiply and a multiply/add unit rather than two multiply/add units as in Rogue. The company gave the ALUs a general overhaul, including improvements in the half-dozen specialized pipelines in the ALUs that the company declined to describe. New support for cache coherent links should serve automotive and GPU compute applications, something that ARM's Bifrost Mali architecture currently uses.
The core’s shader units, which include the ALUs, now have more cache memory. The texture units in the shaders also have a dedicated cache for the first time.
In terms of memory bandwidth, the ALUs now sport a multi-threaded local memory and an improved DMA engine. The overall cores support asynchronous data masters than can run in parallel.
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Furian doubles the number of enhanced ALU pipelines in a core. Click to enlarge. Source: Imagingation.