Press release

06 August 2012

Shipments of total OpenGL ES enabled GPUs to hit 1 billion units per year by 2014, says Imagination

New OpenGL ES 3.0 API will drive the next step towards graphics parity between mobiles, desktops and games consoles

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SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, Calif.: Shipments of GPUs conformant with the Khronos OpenGL ES family of graphics APIs (Application Programming Interface) will reach 1 billion units per annum by 2014 according to Imagination Technologies, the leading supplier of mobile and embedded GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) technology.

Many of those platforms shipped in 2014 will be capable of delivering the latest capabilities of the new Khronos OpenGL ES 3.0 APIs, thanks to Imagination’s industry-leading PowerVR Series6 GPU processors.

Research conducted by Imagination, whose PowerVR GPU technology is the technology of choice for mobile and embedded graphics, suggest that SoCs (systems on chip) capable of supporting OpenGL ES 3.0, including products incorporating PowerVR Series6 GPUs, will begin to ship in products in mid-2013, and that tablets, smartphones and other products supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 will become a significant and growing part of a billion unit market by 2014. Imagination is providing OpenGL ES 3.0 capable PowerVR Series6 GPUs* to nine of the world’s leading semiconductor and electronics companies.

Imagination’s PowerVR Series6 ‘Rogue’ family of GPUs delivers the advanced capabilities of OpenGL ES 3.0 as well as OpenGL ES 2.0 and 1.1, and other key graphics APIs such as DirectX10 and 11. Imagination expects PowerVR will be the leading GPU driving OpenGL ES 3.0 adoption.

Say Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: “The future of graphics is mobile. With such advanced features as multiple rendering targets, instancing, and more, Khronos’ OpenGL ES 3.0 is a significant step forward for mobile and embedded graphics, bringing mobile platforms another step closer to performance and feature set parity with traditionally more capable desktops and consoles. The widespread adoption by semiconductor manufacturers and developers has made our PowerVR family the GPU technology of choice for mobile application development. We are excited by this next phase of mobile GPU which will blur the boundaries between mobile and traditional high end graphics platforms.”

Imagination will show the capabilities of the new OpenGL ES 3.0 API with new demos for PowerVR Series6 including:

Leaves, featuring OpenGL ES 3.0 Transform Feedback. A storm of leaves swirls across the screen as transform feedback is used for position and orientation of each leaf and then instancing, another key OpenGL ES 3.0 feature, is used to draw the high complexity leaves with close to 300 polygons each.

Metropolis, featuring OpenGL ES 3.0 Instanced Geometry. A high-rise futuristic urban scene is rendered using hundreds of OpenGL ES 3.0 Instanced buildings and flying cars. Multiple Render Targets (MRT) are used to add atmospheric bloom effects adding to the cinematic feeling of the scene. High quality anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering ensure top of the line image quality.

Shrine, featuring OpenGL ES 3.0 Multiple Render Target. An eerie night-time scene shows the benefits of Light Indexed Deferred Lighting using OpenGL ES 3.0 Multiple Render Targets. This advanced approach to scene lighting enables up to 4 light sources per pixel selected from up to 1024 lights per scene and can be efficiently combined with advanced hardware based anti-aliasing effects.

Says Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research: “With Imagination already delivering PowerVR GPU technology designed for OpenGL ES 3.0 to many leading chip makers, it seems reasonable to assume that the market for such devices will grow at an even faster pace than those for OpenGL ES 2.0. We see tablets, smartphones, automotive, and other embedded devices increasingly changing the landscape for where traditional demanding graphics applications are run – including in content creation and some areas of industrial CAD – as well as making tablets the ideal target for the most demanding AAA games developers.”

Says Laszlo Kishonti, CEO of Kishonti Ltd: “With OpenGL ES 3.0 now ratified and Imagination customers already preparing OpenGL ES 3.0 capable silicon for market the enablers are in place for hardware and software developers to deliver a fully next generation experience. GLBenchmark 3.0 will show the state of the art both through credible metrics and gorgeous visuals as OpenGL ES 3.0 content further solidifies mobile’s position as a key gaming experience platform as strong as console or PC.”

At SIGGRAPH 2012, the conference for those who work in the exciting and innovative graphics industry, Imagination will be showing the latest PowerVR graphics technologies that are enabling fully compliant graphics acceleration for the latest generations of OpenGL ES, OpenGL, OpenCL, OpenRL™ and DirectX APIs across the industry’s leading applications processors and devices.

Imagination will demonstrate, both on Booth 522 and at three Tech Talks during the show, how the future of all forms of graphics, whether rasterized or ray traced will be increasingly led by what happens on mobile devices like tablets and phones. Imagination will also be demonstrating the latest version of its PowerVR SDK and Toolchain with support for the latest operating systems including OpenGL ES 3.0.

Tech Talks at Siggraph 2012

Tuesday 7th, 17:05 – 18:00
PowerVR: Getting Great Graphics Performance with the PowerVR Insider SDK
Experts from the PowerVR Developer Technology team will give the low-down on what great new features have been added to the PowerVR Insider SDK and utilities. Learn how to tame textures, models, and shaders and incorporate these leading development tools into your workflow to produce smarter, more portable game code. Developers will then be taken on a deep-dive into the SDK’s performance tools: PVRTune and PVRTrace and how to use them and the PVRScope API to extract maximum performance from today’s leading mobile and handheld gaming platforms

Wednesday 8th, 14:15 – 15:15
Accelerating look development *with* Rhinoceros interactive ray traced viewports
Interactive ray tracing plugins for popular 3D packages (including Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and McNeel & Associates’ Rhinoceros) are now bringing final-frame photorealism to even the earliest stages of modeling and lighting and in doing so creating exciting new creative opportunities for artists and designers.

Users of Rhino will learn how real-time ray traced viewports help a designer make better-informed creative choices, shorten review cycles and save time by reducing unnecessary and time-consuming preview renders compared to working with traditional OpenGL or Direct3D viewports.

Wednesday 8th, 17:05 – 18:00
Accelerating look development *with* Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya interactive ray traced viewports
Interactive ray tracing plugins for popular 3D packages (including Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and McNeel & Associates Rhinoceros) are now bringing final-frame photorealism to even the earliest stages of modeling and lighting and in doing so creating exciting new creative opportunities for artists and designers. Users of 3ds Max and Maya will learn how real-time ray traced viewports help an artist or designer make better-informed creative choices, shorten review cycles and save time by reducing unnecessary and time-consuming preview renders compared to working with traditional OpenGL or Direct3D viewports.

About PowerVR

Imagination’s PowerVR graphics technologies are licensed by world leading companies to power iconic products delivering the best in smartphone, tablet, TV and console apps and gaming. PowerVR GPU technology is driven by one of the world’s largest engineering teams dedicated to graphics processor development. This is complemented by the industry’s most mature and extensive ecosystem of dedicated third party developers – PowerVR Insider, who have already created hundreds of thousands of apps optimised for PowerVR enabled devices. Imagination’s PowerVR graphics technologies are the de facto standard for mobile and embedded graphics and have shipped in more than 800m devices. PowerVR Series6 is already in silicon with multiple partners. Among the PowerVR Series6 partners announced so far are HiSilicon, ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, Renesas Electronics and MediaTek.

Editor’s Note

* Product is based on a published Khronos Specification, and is expected to pass the Khronos Conformance Testing Process when available. Current conformance status can be found at

About Imagination Technologies   

Imagination Technologies – a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor solutions for graphics, video, and display, embedded processing, multi-standard communications and connectivity, and cross-platform V.VoIP & VoLTE. These silicon and software intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by an extensive portfolio of software drivers, developer tools and extensive market and technology-focused ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone and multimedia, connected home consumer, mobile and tablet computing, in-car electronics, telecoms, health, smart energy and connected sensors and controllers. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor, network operator and electronics OEM/ODM companies. Corporate headquarters are located in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See:

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