PowerVR Tools and SDK 2017.1 package is now live!

It’s been six months or so since our last PowerVR Tools and SDK update but the latest version has arrived, bringing with it a number of enhancements.

Tools

In terms of our tools, we’ve carried out a number of improvements thanks to your feedback regarding the 2016 R2 release.

First, let’s talk about PVRGeoPOD. The standalone version now features an option to not export hidden objects, as well as support for Adjacency Lists to be used in geometry shaders, and includes support for half-float vertex types. We have also enhanced the Geometry Settings interface to enable the user to fully control optimisations as opposed to being triggered by the utility itself.

PVRTune, one of our more vital tools, has also been upgraded – it now features improved hardware support and improved GUI performance at 4K resolutions. It also now indicates periods where there is possible performance loss due to the tile accelerator being out of Parameter Buffer memory. We’ve also made it so PVRTrace now supports OpenGL ES 3.2 enabling developers using the very latest version of the API to debug their applications.

Framework

We have added support for multiple queues and queue families for Vulkan in PVRNativeApi. This functionality is used by PVRApi and PVREngineUtils (previously PVRUIRenderer) to implement a brand new multi-threading and asynchronous asset loading interface, making loading textures asynchronously a breeze. You can see this functionality in action in our new Intermediate example, Multithreading. Amidst these changes, we found time for a slight clean-up in some PVRNativeApi utility function calls, making them more intuitive.

Documentation

We now offer two new documents – the PowerVR Low-Level GLSL Optimisation, and the PowerVR Instruction Set Reference. The GLSL document provides guidelines on how to write optimised code for PowerVR, as well as explaining the connection between GLSL and USC code. The Instruction Set Reference, on the other hand, is the go-to document for shader optimisation on PowerVR, detailing the USC code PVRShaderEditor outputs. Along with the GLSL document, they form an ideal guide for making effective use of your hardware.

If you have any questions, our support team are ready to assist on the forums, or through our ticketing system.

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