Something to look forward to: Imagination Technologies and PowerVR are legendary names within the graphics hardware business. The UK-based semiconductor designer is now part of Chinese equity fund Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, but its latest technology advancements are specifically aimed at PC gamers like never before.
Imagination has just launched IMG DXD, the company’s latest “high-performance” GPU architecture. For the first time, DXD provides native support for Microsoft’s DirectX libraries, starting with a “hardware-based implementation” of the DirectX 11 Feature Level 11_0 release. DXD has the API coverage to run “popular PC games” as well as other Windows software and mobile titles, Imagination said.
DXD leverages the inherent power efficiency of the PowerVR GPU architecture, Imagination stated, with its tile-based deferred rendering paradigm that was originally developed to deliver high-quality 3D graphics in power-constrained form factors. The new GPU IP is also based on a flexible multi-core approach, with each individual core operating independently or combined together for maximum performance.
HyperLane virtualization technology also provides every DXD core with the ability to host up to eight games with full security and “flexible performance management,” Imagination stated. When compared to BXT, the company’s previous GPU design, DXD can seemingly deliver 40 to 60% higher peak performance. Key performance “efficiency features” in DXD include dual-rate FP16, Fragment Shading Rate to reduce the amount of processing required per frame, and 2D Dual-Rate Texturing to speed up post-processing effects in games.
IMG DXD also provides support for HDR content and a modern RISC-V based firmware processor with up to “40% higher GPU management performance.” IMG BXT is currently being shipped in PCIe graphics cards as Innosilicon’s Fantasy (Fenghua) for the Chinese market.
IMG DXD offers 2.25x the per-core graphics performance of the previous GPU architecture. Imagination said that a dual-core DXD card would deliver 5 TFLOPS FP32 and 144 GTexel/s, which is “more than enough” to satisfy mainstream gamers with “smooth frame rates.”
BXT is being used for graphics cards aimed at China’s internal market, and IMG DXD would likely have the same business prospects. The GPU market in the Asian country is rapidly diversifying, Imagination stated, and a DirectX 11-compatible card would be perfect for new desktop and, primarily, cloud gaming solutions.
DXD’s software support include both well-established operating systems (Linux, Android, Windows) and emerging (Chinese) platforms such as UOS and Kylin OS. Imagination will demonstrate what its latest IMG GPU IP can do for cloud gaming on November 10, at the San Francisco ICCAD conference.