Press release

14 February 2005

Imagination Technologies Presents PowerVR Racer at Renesas 3GSM Event

PowerVR MBX Demonstrates Console-class Gaming on the Move

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London, UK: Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR division a market leader in embedded graphics, video and display technologies and Renesas Technology present PowerVR Racer, a stunning demonstration of the combined power of the Renesas SH-Mobile3 (SH73182) application processor and PowerVR MBX Lite.

PowerVR Racer is a high-speed, white-knuckle car race with contestants battling through an entire city. Racers tear downtown into the industrial quarter and the mountains beyond, then back through the sleepy suburbs to the commercial district.

Says David McBrien, VP business development, Imagination Technologies: “”PowerVR Racer illustrates the extraordinary levels of 3D and application performance achievable by the Renesas SH-Mobile3 application processor, and is a graphic illustration of how Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR MBX architecture is transforming the landscape of mobile phone gaming.””

Both Renesas and Imagination Technologies (Hall 4, Stand K9) will demonstrate PowerVR Racer at 3GSM.

PowerVR Racer In Detail
The course is 6 km long modeled with more than 20,000 triangles. The cars feature multiple levels of detail peaking at 1,500 triangles per car, and rendered with multi-texturing and accurate reflection-mapping. PowerVR MBX’s PVR-TC™ advanced texture compression is used throughout, with MIP-mapping and full-scene anti-aliasing which delivers VGA-quality imagery on a QVGA-resolution. Performance is greater than 30 frames per second.

The SH-Mobile3 features a SH4AL-DSP core achieving 389 MIPS at 216MHz with Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR MBX-Lite 2D/3D core at 54MHz. With the integration of various multimedia accelerators and support functions such as full MPEG-4 hardware accelerator, 3-megapixel class camera interface, a video output unit for connection of the mobile phone to a TV set and LCD controller, it is ideally suited for mobile phone applications where minimal power consumption is critical.

The system combines high-performance fixed-point DSP and 32Mbytes of high-performance stacked SDRAM, allowing large, rich gaming experiences without compromising texture resolution.

PowerVR MBX – console-class gaming on the move
PowerVR MBX Lite contains an integrated geometry engine, the Vertex Geometry Processor (VGP), which maintains full floating-point precision during geometric processing, delivering ultimate quality 3D graphics. VGP is a fully user programmable vertex shader, performing transformation, lighting, clipping and perspective projection. The VGP converts incoming fixed-point data into floating-point in zero clock cycles, then operates entirely in floating-point precision, executing four floating-point multiply-accumulates per clock. The results are clear to see – no loss of precision, no loss of quality, and devastating performance at minimum power consumption.

3D graphics accelerators have historically been notoriously bandwidth-heavy, delivering poor performance when memory bandwidth is limited. The SH-Mobile3 has a unified memory system, sharing memory bandwidth between CPU, on-chip media accelerators and display refresh.

PowerVR MBX is a tile-based architecture, processing the image in rectangular groups of pixels (tiles). Tile-based image processing brings many advantages, all of them reducing memory bandwidth requirements.

  • No external Z-buffer. Only a tile’s worth of Z information need be retained when rendering in tile order. Thus a small per-tile Z-buffer can remain on-chip, resulting in a massive bandwidth reduction compared to competing immediate-mode architectures.
  • On-chip blending. A tile-sized buffer of RGBA colours is maintained on-chip. This saves massive amounts of bandwidth when processing intensive blending operations, where pixels are repeatedly read and written. As a result only final, completed pixels are ever written to the frame buffer.
  • Deferred texturing. Texture processing is held off until the end of Z-buffer processing, at which point only visible surfaces need to be textured. Memory bandwidth and power that would have been wasted pushing obscured textures and pixels in and out of the chip is saved.

PowerVR MBX was designed from the ground up to be best-in-class for mobile devices, and SH-Mobile3’s PowerVR MBX Lite squeezes those architectural advantages into a smaller, more die area and power-efficient core.

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