Published in Graphics

Imagination releases new PowerVR Furian

by on10 March 2017

New GPU architecture

Imagination Technologies has lifted the kimono on its next-generation PowerVR Furian architecture, which it is billing as an entirely new GPU architecture designed for the evolved graphics and compute needs of next-generation consumer devices.

The company said that applications such as VR/AR and convertibles require higher graphics resolutions and frame rates, and emerging applications such as ADAS and machine intelligence require increased compute efficiency.

Devices designed for these applications are often designed in sub-14nm process technologies. Furian, embedded products will be able to deliver high-resolution, immersive graphics content and data computation for sustained time periods within mobile power budgets, the company said.

Furian’s architecture improvements are designed for enhanced power efficiency, widening the industry-leading performance per mW gap over competing solutions, with the benchmark already set by the PowerVR Rogue architecture.

The goal is to provide the industry’s most complete and efficient range of GPU IP cores across a wide range of performance operating points.

Sam Rosen, managing director and VP, video, OTT and AR/VR, ABI Research said: “Emerging applications such as AR/VR and machine learning put intense new requirements on the GPU. GPU systems must do more than in typical rendering scenarios, including a great deal of general purpose computation.”

He said that it was important to have a GPU microarchitecture that is adept at mixing graphics and compute workloads at different stages inside a single frame of rendering.

Mark Dickinson, EVP PowerVR business unit, Imagination said that Furian was created to address a new class of emerging applications, with a focus on efficient scalability that will extend to multiple generations of PowerVR IP cores.

“We’re excited to start rolling out the first 8XT IP cores based on Furian. These cores will further cement the leadership of PowerVR at the high end of mobile performance.”

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.

Furian adds a bi-directional GPU/CPU coherent interface for efficient sharing of data; and a transition to user mode queues from kernel mode queues which reduces latency and CPU utilization for compute operations.

Significantly, Furian 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 manages a 35 per cent GFLOPS density improvement for improved compute and gaming performance efficiency and an 80 per cent fillrate density improvement for improved UI and casual gaming performance efficiency. This means a 70-90 per cent gaming density improvement.

Imagination has already licensed the first Furian IP cores to multiple partners with initial RTL delivered. The first GPU core variants based on Furian will be announced in mid-2017.

Last modified on 10 March 2017
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