A look inside the collaboration between TSMC and Imagination

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first blog with Imagination. Going forward I’ll be contributing here by providing snapshots of Imagination’s participation at events around the world, as well as some of the latest developments from the company. Let me start with some really cool news.

At the recently concluded Open Innovation Platform® Ecosystem Forum held in Santa Clara, California, Imagination received the 2015 Graphics Partner of the Year Award from TSMC. This is an honor for Imagination as the award recognizes the cutting-edge collaboration between the two companies in the area of graphics. Over the last few years, Imagination has been partnering with TSMC to develop highly optimized reference design flows and silicon implementations using PowerVR GPUs combined with TSMC’s advanced process technologies, including 16nm FinFET process technology.

Martin Ashton, executive VP of Imagination’s PowerVR business, attended an exclusive luncheon event where he received the award from Dr. Cliff Hou, Vice President, Research & Development and Design and Technology Platform for TSMC.

Imagination TSMC OIP PowerVR award

Here is a peek into a couple of the interesting projects that Imagination and TSMC have been collaborating on.

Designing an integrated wireless 4K video camera IP platform

The IoT market is fast evolving from simple M2M devices that merely transmit low data rates over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to far more complex systems that are capable of streaming and analyzing HD video. To address this market, Imagination, with support from TSMC, has developed a reference design for 4K imaging and display. The IP platform has advanced features such as camera ISP, GPU compute, power-managed CPU clusters and on-chip Wi-Fi and Bluetooth -demonstrating that high-performance local processing and connectivity can be integrated not just efficiently but cost-effectively as well.

The smart vision reference IP platform, based on TSMC 28HPM technology, brings together Imagination’s IP including MIPS CPUs, PowerVR multimedia, Ensigma communications and OmniShield security. The high-end platform can be leveraged in a variety of IoT applications such as smart surveillance, retail analytics, autonomous vehicles and many more. If you are interested in finding more about this collaboration, check out the below video where Alan Aronoff, director of strategic business at IMGWorks for Imagination talks to ChipEstimate’s Sean O’Kane about solving the challenges SoC designers face when designing 4K wireless streaming applications.

Optimizing PowerVR GPU using 16nm FinFET

Leading-edge GPUs today occupy as much as 50 percent or more of an SoC’s area and demand the highest performance memory bandwidth to deliver high performance at low power. To meet the needs of next generation’s most advanced SoCs, Imagination and TSMC teamed up to enhance the overall performance, power and area (PPA) achieved on Imagination’s PowerVR Series6XT GPU on TSMC’s 16nm FF process. The companies successfully created silicon-validated PPA reference points that exceeded the original target of 600MHz @ 2.5W, achieving 660MHz @ 2.35W. Colin McKellar, senior director of hardware engineering for Imagination published a paper at the TSMC OIP forum that detailed this work, and Imagination demonstrated the solution at the show

Watch this space from more information on the advances we are making in developing cutting-edge technologies of the future. In my next post I’ll bring you key takeaways from the recently concluded Linley Processor Conference.

For more news and announcements from Imagination, follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationTech) and stay tuned to our blog.

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