14 February 2011

Graphics, video and connectivity: driving mobile innovation and growth

MWC, Barcelona, Spain, February 14th 2011: Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia and communications technologies company, says that its partners will ship significantly higher volume, well over 200m SoCs (Systems on Chip) using its advanced multimedia, communications and connectivity IP cores, in 2011 as the momentum continues to build in the mobile and embedded market.

Imagination partners have now shipped almost 500m devices cumulatively incorporating its multimedia SoC IP cores.
Imagination made its name by foreseeing the rise of highly integrated low power mobile multimedia, where its POWERVR technology for OpenGL, OpenGL ES, OpenCL and other APIs is the de facto standard in embedded and mobile with over 70% market share.
As IP is at the start of the ‘food chain’ Imagination is ideally placed to see, and help drive, the trends that will transform the market over the next few years.

Driven by customer thirst for advanced graphics, and the debut of GPGPU APIs like OpenCL, the compute density of GPUs in mobile and embedded devices is set to increase dramatically delivering further performance and realism, as well as enabling exciting new apps that stimulate new markets and business opportunities such as augmented reality, mobile marketing and location-aware gaming.

As consumers demand universal connectivity to rich media ‘in the cloud’ wherever they are, connectivity using Wi-Fi to complement 3G modems, and increasing traction for universal digital TV and radio reception in smartphones, tablet and other mobile devices is set to grow dramatically powered by programmable universal connectivity radio processing units (RPU).
Combined with new HD video technologies to enable internet video delivery, video telephony, and user generated content revolutions, together with the move of connectivity onto the SoC itself, Imagination contends that this is set to be a very exciting time for mobile.

Imagination VP marketing Tony King-Smith says: “The pace of change in this market is accelerating, driven by consumer excitement for the very best experiences in mobile, demanding the most advanced on-chip technologies. In this market ‘just good enough’ doesn’t win the day. We believe that Imagination’s portfolio of multimedia and communications technologies will be at the heart and soul of many of the next ‘big things’ in the mobile world.”

MWC 2011 sees a wide range of iconic products and applications enabled by Imagination from brands including Acer, Apple, Archos, Fujitsu, HTC, RIM, Samsung, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, Sony, Motorola, NEC and Nokia, and semiconductor companies including Intel, MediaTek, Renesas, Samsung, CSR, Toumaz and Texas Instruments.

Additional notes on Imagination’s vision for mobile SoCs

Graphics: As screen resolution continues to grow on both phone and tablet devices the demand for powerful yet energy efficient graphics and video technologies continues driving demand for Imagination’s market leading POWERVR graphics, display and video technologies. The mobile and embedded multimedia market is set for further growth with most categories of devices ultimately needing performance, low power graphics and video for a broad range of applications including user interface, gaming, personal navigation, internet content and video telephony, as well as a growing range of high performance non-graphics related algorithms using general purpose graphics processor (GPGPU) capabilities, such as OpenCL.

Imagination has also announced that it has submitted its OpenCL drivers for POWERVR SGX IP cores for conformance with Khronos, demonstrating its leadership in bringing the next wave of bringing GPGPU capabilities to mobile and embedded markets.
Imagination also believes that the Adobe® Flash® platform is one of the key technologies enabling mobile convergence. Imagination and Adobe have been working together since 2007 to enable GPU acceleration of video and graphics in Flash Player and Adobe AIR®, for the rapidly growing base of more than 400m POWERVR graphics enabled mobile and consumer devices.

“Given the ubiquity of the Flash Player and the large base of devices shipping with POWERVR GPUs and video decoders, it was important for Adobe and Imagination to closely collaborate to bring great content experiences to the widest possible community,” said Jennifer Carr, senior director, Business Development, Flash Platform at Adobe. “We continue to work closely with Imagination to allow for Flash Player to take full advantage of POWERVR GPU capabilities in mobile devices.”

The next generation POWERVR Series6 graphics architecture, code named ‘Rogue’, has already been licensed to multiple lead partners and will continue to enable the market by delivering the best industry metrics in performance per mm2 and performance per mW. Further ‘Rogue’ licensing engagements are already in the pipeline.

Video: Adoption of POWERVR VXD video decoder and VXE video encoder families also continues to gain momentum, with more than 100m units already shipped by Imagination’s video IP partners. Mobile HD video must deliver high quality multi-stream multi-standard capabilities for both decode and encode functions, and novel features like stereoscopic 3D, which necessitate high performance, low power video accelerators to make this viable in a mobile environment. These are expected to become key features in mobile and embedded devices as the revolution in commercial video content delivery, social networking, user generated content and video telephony continues to accelerate.

Communications: Imagination believes that, due to their coverage of broadcast and connectivity standards and flexibility, multi-standard Radio Processing Units (RPU) will become increasingly integrated on-chip just as GPUs are today in the coming years. Imagination’s ENSIGMA UCCP IP platform is set to fuel this next wave of integration, offering digital TV reception, radio, Wi-Fi and other connectivity, and more, all executing on the same on-chip RPU.

Imagination’s ENSIGMA UCC multi-standard broadcast radio and TV communications and connectivity technologies have also now shipped in tens of millions of devices, enabling worldwide connected broadcast products.

At MWC 2011 Imagination is debuting the latest ENSIGMA UCCP330 connectivity platform with support for all major world TV, radio, mobile TV and connectivity standards including now 802.11n (see separate press release, issued Feb 14 2011).
Processing: Imagination’s METAFlow Connected Processor, which combines Imagination’s unique META hardware multi-threaded processor+DSP CPUs with its Wi-Fi optimised ENSIGMA UCCP communications platform, is setting a new standard for emerging embedded processors for the ‘everything connected’ generation of products. Imagination continues to expand its META processors, adding further IP platforms for applications including digital audio and an upgraded range of high performance hardware multi-threaded processor cores running Android and Linux alongside powerful 32-bit DSP capabilities.

V.VoIP: Imagination’s recent acquisition of HelloSoft provides access to leading edge V.VoIP (Video & Voice over IP) technology and combining HelloSoft’s technology and Imagination’s multimedia cores and processor will offer an optimised end-to-end solution for media-over-internet protocol delivery, which is becoming important to all connected devices, and enable OEMs and network/service operators to take advantage of HelloSoft’s market-leading software stack.

Ray Tracing Graphics: Imagination’s recent acquisition of Caustic Graphics will provide access to innovative new technology that will both disrupt the professional imaging market and enable Imagination to bring cinema quality imaging to gaming platforms, embedded and mobile devices. 

Showcases
Imagination will be debuting and demonstrating its latest technologies for mobile phone multimedia, handheld multimedia, home consumer, mobile computing and in-car electronics at leading industry events world-wide in 2011, including:

MWC 2011, Barcelona, Spain, February 14-17
GDC 2011, San Francisco, USA, February 28-March 4
Eurographics 2011, Llandudno, UK, April 11-15
ESC Silicon Valley 2011, San Jose, USA, May 2-5
Siggraph 2011, Vancouver, Canada, August 7-11

Public Relations

If you have any enquiries regarding any of our news or press release items, please contact:

United Kingdom
david.harold@imgtec.com
Tel: +44 (0)1923 260511

United States
jen.bernier@imgtec.com
Tel: +1 408-530-5178

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