As you’ve probably noticed over the past few days, we have announced an important update to the latest version of our PowerVR Graphics SDK, which is now free to download for all PowerVR Insider members.
The PowerVR Graphics SDK v3.0 r2 release brings two new important features that are definitely going to resonate with the latest news and developments in the mobile world.
PowerVR Graphics SDK with native BlackBerry 10 support
BlackBerry 10 is the new OS (Operating System) from RIM that will power the next generation of devices about to be released by the Canada-based company at the end of January. Initial feedback from testers and industry analysts has been very positive and we look forward to seeing the mobile platforms in action. On the application front, RIM has announced the OS, also known as BB 10, should launch with more than 70,000 apps which gives it an important head start compared to other newcomers.
One of the big additions to our PowerVR Graphics SDK v3.0 r2 is support for RIM’s BlackBerry 10 OS (OpenGL ES 1.x and 2.0) as a set of Native SDK projects, fully integrated with the QNX Momentics IDE. We’ve ported PVRShell, PVRTools and all of our Example applications to the new OS, making it straightforward to port your existing Android and iOS C++ code to RIM’s new platform.
BlackBerry developers can try out the new PowerVR SDK on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha A and B devices, whose complete specifications are outlined on BlackBerry’s Developer Blog. In terms of hardware, it’s worth mentioning the Dev Alpha A uses Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4460 dual core processor with PowerVR Series5 graphics whereas the Alpha B has the OMAP 4470. This recently released OMAP4 platform from TI improves performance especially for graphics via the new PowerVR SGX544SC GPU.
Both handsets have a 4.2-inch display with a 1280 x 768 resolution that provides 356ppi, while using a 15:9 aspect ratio.
RIM has recently confirmed that a BB 10 update should arrive to its PlayBook tablet, meaning native app development with our PowerVR Graphics SDK will be available for that device too. It’s also worth mentioning that both the PlayBook OS 2.0 and BlackBerry 10 are based on the same QNX platform. The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet offers a 7″ LCD display and includes a dual-core processor with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU that supports multiple APIs like OpenGL ES 2.0 or OpenCL 1.0.
The PowerVR SGX540 has double the pipelines of the already blisteringly-powerful PowerVR SGX530, higher clock speeds and many system level architectural enhancements.
At the official BlackBerry 10 launch, the Canadian company also confirmed that its flagship device, the BlackBerry Z10, will ship in select markets with a dual core TI OMAP 4470 1.5GHz processor, a system-on-a-chip platform that contains the same GPU as the Dev Alpha B device – the PowerVR SGX544SC, part of the Series5XT family.
Android SDK manager integration
The second major improvement is the integration with Android’s SDK Manager. Using the SDK Manager, you can access tools, platforms, and other components that are separated into downloadable packages. The SDK Manager can be launched from Eclipse (with ADT) by selecting Window – Android SDK Manager. On Windows, the SDK Manager.exe file can be found at the root of the Android SDK directory while on Mac or Linux, you can find it by navigating to the tools/ directory in the Android SDK (to run it, execute android sdk).
You can now find the PowerVR SDK among the packages in the list; just add the add-on URL (https://www.imgtec.com/developers/powervr-sdk-tools/installers//androidsdk.xml) to your Android SDK Manager. Make sure the relevant option is checked (OpenGL ES 1.0 or OpenGL ES 2.0) and then click Install for the desired PowerVR Graphics SDK package.
To get started on application development on either Android or BlackBerry 10, register on the PowerVR Insider website (if you haven’t already) and download our free PowerVR SDK v3.0 r2. If you encounter any problems, you can use our PowerVR Insider developer forum, which even has a regularly updated frequently asked questions section.