London, UK – 6 March,
2015 – Imagination Technologies (IMG.L)
identifies six trends driving industry momentum and related technologies at the
recent Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC) focused on security, IoT interoperability,
wearables, computer vision, communications infrastructure, and ultra-low power connectivity.
These trends confirm Imagination’s vision for the future of mobile, and the
technology roadmaps it is aggressively pursuing across its entire IP portfolio
in anticipation of the needs of its customers and partners.
Says Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing at Imagination: “Over
the past decade, we’ve seen enormous changes and disruptions in the mobile
landscape in everything from communications standards to smartphone
functionality. However, this year’s MWC signaled the start of a new era that
goes far beyond phones and infrastructure, as everything from IoT sensors and
actuators to wearables to highly connected and increasingly automated cars become
an integral part of MWC. What is clear to us is that security and
interoperability together with software and system portability lie at the heart
of bringing these latest visions of a connected world to life.”
trends at MWC 2015 according to Imagination:
- Highly integrated, ultra-low power communications are proliferating
widely. At MWC, it was clear that the ‘mobile’ device
category now includes a huge number of products beyond mobile phones and
tablets – from wearables to automotive to the huge range of new and emerging
IoT devices. Low-power Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, Cat 1 and Cat
0 LTE and other short range wireless technologies are key to enabling these
devices that are finding their way into every
industry, every product category and everyday life.
- Network infrastructure is expanding
and virtualizing. To accommodate the ever
increasing number of connected devices and expanding cloud infrastructure, 4G
buildout continues around the globe. At MWC, 5G was a hot topic, despite the
fact that it is yet to be defined. Companies are already looking to the
advantages it will provide in the 2020 timeframe. The next generation of
infrastructure will require advances in communications and also in embedded
processing to support software defined networks (SDN) and network function
is critical: In an increasingly connected world,
any system is only as secure as its weakest link. Embedded security has become
a critical issue for the next generation of connected devices. At MWC 2015, numerous
companies announced initiatives and technologies around security, including
secure payments, secure mobile operating systems, virtualized solutions for
BYOD, encryption and key management technology, security enhanced phones and
smartwatches, and even privacy glasses designed to protect against facial
interoperability is key: In the next generation,
the number of connected IoT devices will not only continue to grow and be
provided by an ever expanding number of vendors, but will also perform a wide
array of functions. As such, high-volume success and consumer satisfaction will
be dependent on a level of interoperability not previously seen in the
are entering the mainstream: MWC 2015 made it clear that
wearables are now an integral part of any OEM product lineup. Numerous smart
bracelets, smartwatches, and specialized products such as fitness bands were
introduced by new and emerging companies during the show. The next wave of
wearables will be defined as electronics meets fashion.
- Computer vision and VR/AR applications represent massive
opportunities. Vision-aware technologies are increasingly incorporated
in smartphones, IoT devices, automotive, robotics, and other products. MWC 2015
also confirmed the re-emergence of virtual reality (VR) and a
growing interest in augmented reality (AR). To
create devices that support computer vision, computational photography and new
user and social experiences, companies need processing solutions that go beyond
CPU/DSP cores to deliver sustained video-rate processing
of HD content.
Continues King-Smith: “Imagination’s
technology roadmaps anticipate and increasingly drive these trends, as we focus
on providing not only the cutting-edge PowerVR GPUs and MIPS CPUs that we are known
for, but also the communications engines, video and vision processing engines,
and heterogeneous processing platforms that are all secure, and deliver
interoperability through open standards. We’re excited to work with our
partners to deliver the technologies that will form the backbone of tomorrow’s
Driving ultra-low power
radio connectivity processors (RPUs) are at the heart of ultra-low power
communications. At MWC, Imagination showed a new HDMI streaming device using
Ensigma Explorer 802.11ac connectivity, and also highlighted its Ensigma
Whisper IP that is designed to drive a new generation of wearables, IoT and other connected
devices where ultra-low power consumption and low cost points are essential. Whisper RPUs, like their
Ensigma Explorer counterparts, provide multi-standard support in a single
architecture, designed to enable customers to bring Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GNSS
low-power connectivity technologies onto their SoCs.
LTE chipmakers were also prominent at MWC.
The opportunity for growth in this area is huge, as LTE migrates from operator
controlled mobile phones to become a communications standard for M2M and IoT
devices. Companies that provide LTE chipsets achieve
competitive advantage by using multi-threaded MIPS CPUs in their designs.
Imagination at the heart of
MIPS is at the heart of Cavium’s new 64-bit
OCTEON Fusion-M family of highly integrated single chip solutions which were
unveiled at MWC. The Fusion-M family is designed to enable a new category of
macrocells and smart radio heads. Cavium also demonstrated its MIPS based 64-bit
OCTEON III reaching new performance milestones to meet demand for massive
increases in secure wireless transport throughput for 4G and upcoming 5G
infrastructure. MontaVista Software demonstrated Carrier Grade Linux CGE7, MV
Cloud and Docker® running on the MIPS64 based OCTEON III processors.
In addition, Blu Wireless demonstrated its
MIPS-based HYDRA gigabit modem which is aimed at millimetre wave communication
applications including ‘WiGig’ 802.11ad and wireless backhaul for LTE mobile
Within the SoC, especially as the industry moves to heterogeneous processing
architectures, each processing unit must have built-in security that provides
multiple secure domains. Today’s security solutions, which tend to be around a
single trusted domain, are no longer adequate to deal with multiple coexisting
data types such as payments, health, and premium content. Imagination has built
scalable hardware virtualization into its MIPS Warrior CPUs and PowerVR Series7
GPUs, providing the foundation for Imagination’s forthcoming heterogeneous security architecture designed to
address the privacy and security needs of evolving and emerging connected
applications. During MWC, Imagination demonstrated key pieces of its security
solutions, including hypervisors for MIPS CPUs.
With the emergence of a diverse set of
devices and fragmented markets for IoT, Imagination believes in the need for
open protocols and APIs from server to gateway and from gateway to device. This is a trend that was central to many of
Imagination’s discussions with partners at MWC and is an area where Imagination
expects to see significant collaborations developing.
The prpl Foundation, a leading proponent of an open
and secure IoT, is establishing major cross-industry projects to ensure
interoperability and security in the next generation of devices. prpl will be central
to efforts by Imagination and its partners around these issues.
FlowCloud technology provides a strong enabling platform for IoT with an open
approach from device-to-cloud. During MWC, Imagination demonstrated FlowCloud
on multiple development platforms including the Imagination’s Creator CI20 boards
and Digilent’s chipKIT WiFire boards that enable developers to get started on
creating open, interoperable solutions for a range of IoT applications
including smart home, eHealth, agriculture and telecom. As multi-standard IP, Ensigma
RPUs also play a key role in enabling interoperability. Whether talking to the
cloud over high-performance interfaces or over sensors where ultra-low power is
everything, Ensigma has it covered.
At MWC, Imagination showed numerous wearable devices that leverage its MIPS and
PowerVR IP. As Imagination’s entire IP portfolio is designed for power and area
efficiency, it is ideal for designing the next generation of wearable
processors. During MWC, Imagination unveiled the PowerVR Rogue G6020 GPU that
has been specially designed for graphics efficiency in ultra-compact silicon
area, obtaining better real device performance and compatibility without
unnecessary overhead. With the PowerVR GX5300 and G6020 GPUs, Imagination covers
graphics and UIs from entry-level smartwatches to high-end wearables.
Imagination in computer vision
Datapath optimizations between Imagination’s PowerVR
GPUs, video encoders and camera ISP lay the foundation for a highly efficient
PowerVR Vision IP Platform for next-generation applications such as IoT
sensors, ADAS, surveillance and virtual/augmented reality.
During MWC, Imagination further strengthened its
offerings, detailing the PowerVR Series7 GT7900, a
super GPU for high-end graphics and compute –
ideal for virtual reality – and introducing new PowerVR Series5 video
encoders for HEVC. Imagination also demonstrated its flexible and high-quality
Raptor imaging processor. In addition, Imagination showed one of the first demonstrations of the Khronos Vulkan™ API which
was launched during MWC for high-performance 3D graphics and GPU-based computation.
Imagination IP across
Imagination’s IP including PowerVR multimedia
and MIPS CPUs were found in many new products across MWC including mobile
phones, tablets, IP cameras, wireless access points, wireless infrastructure
equipment, and more from a wide range of companies including Acer, Alpenelectronics,
Amazon, ASUS, Coolpad, Dell, Huawei, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Nokia, Quanta, Ramos,
Tolino, Toshiba, Trekstor, Verizon and many others.
At the show, many of Imagination’s
customers including Altair Semiconductor, Intel, MediaTek, Sequans
Communications, Toshiba and others highlighted Imagination’s technologies in
new chipsets and devices.
Imagination is a global technology leader
whose products touch the lives of billions of people across the globe. The
company’s broad range of silicon IP (intellectual property) includes the key
processing blocks needed to create the SoCs (Systems on Chips) that power all
mobile, consumer and embedded electronics. Its unique software IP,
infrastructure technologies and system solutions enable its customers get to
market quickly with complete and highly differentiated SoC platforms.
Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor
manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who are creating some of the
world’s most iconic products. See: www.imgtec.com.
Imagination Technologies and the
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