updated 10:15 am EDT, Wed June 15, 2011
Imagination PowerVR 6 gets six licenses
Imagination Technologies hinted strongly at the roadmap for Apple and other mobile device makers late Tuesday with word that it had handed out the first licenses for PowerVR 6 series graphics. It confirmed that ST-Ericsson's future Nova chips, as well as later TI OMAP processors and unnamed hardware from MediaTek, would use the new technology. Three others were also onboard but were being kept secret, alluding to Apple as one of the clients.
The 6 series chipsets, also codenamed Rogue, is poised to be the largest leap in mobile graphics speed in recent memory with between 20 to 100 times higher theoretical 3D performance. In 2D, it should be fast enough to record 1080p video at 120FPS. Graphics cores are still backwards compatible with apps written for the PowerVR 5 series and should be drop-in replacements.
Apple as both a chip designer and the end device creator has never confirmed its intentions to use PowerVR hardware in the past but has used it exclusively in iOS devices since the first iPhone in 2007. The 6 series' anticipated early 2012 availability would line up with the launch of a third-generation iPad that may need it for a Retina Display-level resolution.