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  • iOS 4.3 Driver Bundle Hints at Faster GPU


    The discovery of a new driver bundle inside the iOS 4.3 beta is suggesting a potentially radical leap in performance for iDevices. The PowerVR SGX543, the smallest OpenCL-capable graphics core, isn't used in any current iOS device, but its inclusion in the beta suggests one or more future device will incorporate it. The power of this co-processor could lead to iPads and iPhones that have comparable performance to notebook computers.

    Apple currently uses Imagination Technology's PowerVR SGX535 as the graphics coprocessor in the A4 chip. This is the same GPU used in the iPhone 3GS, as well as the Motorola Droid and the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. It supports OpenGL 2.0 and can render up to 28 million polygons per second with a fillrate of 500 million pixels per second. The next-generation SGX543, by comparison, can render 35 million polygons per second with a fillrate of 1 billion pixels per second. Additionally, the SGX543 supports OpenCL, which means that programs will be able to access the GPU for non-graphical processing, drastically boosting power. It can be stacked it a multi-core configuration, though there might not be space inside the successor to the A4 system-on-a-chip for more than a single graphics core.

    Up to the current generation, iOS devices have been perhaps better known for the quality of its software than the speed of its hardware. In 2011, if this chip comes to the platform and growing rumors about a multicore processor are to be believed, that could all be set to change.

    Source: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iOS 4.3 Driver Bundle Hints at Faster GPU started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. kokowawa's Avatar
      kokowawa -
      waiting for the new iPad
    1. iRepairIndy's Avatar
      iRepairIndy -
      I was about to buy an iPad.. but all this talk makes me want to wait.
    1. iYeow's Avatar
      iYeow -
      I will wait for ipad 2
    1. matrixhunter's Avatar
      matrixhunter -
      hopefully dual core processor and 1gb of ram on the ipad 2 then i will definately buy it
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      hopefully we will get a blazing fast iPhone 5!! So glad I didn't get an iPhone 4!!
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      I was just thinking that the advancements in mobile CPU and GPU's in the last few years might spill into the next iteration of games consoles. Cheap, low power consumption, yet powerful chips could deliver small, compact home consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
      Just a thought...
    1. stlcaddie's Avatar
      stlcaddie -
      Apple will give us 1023 mb before they will give us 1gb. LOL, you know how they do it.
    1. ohthatguyagain's Avatar
      ohthatguyagain -
      iPhone 4 and iPad have excellent tech and work reaaaally fast for nearly every function they serve (thanks to jailbreaking for hooking it up).

      The iPhone 5 and iPad 2 are going to have hardware that, currently, is completely over-killing the software.

      Think they'll advance the iOS to a new level? What kind of new programs could we expect to run on these devices? Diablo 3??
    1. blueblaze4444's Avatar
      blueblaze4444 -
      It really is hard to imagine what iPhones will be like in the next few years all of the way until the end of eternity (or until they figure out how to implant video games and cell phones into our heads )

      Ever since iOS 4 and the iPhone 4, Apple has been stepping up everything more and more constantly. We're already talking about iOS 4.3 and even iOS 5 when iOS 4 has only been around since June. Heck, iOS 3 only went as far as 3.1.3 (with the exception of the iPad).
    1. SupaMonkey's Avatar
      SupaMonkey -
      Promising! Imagine...
      iPhone 5
      LTE for 100mbps+
      64GB+ space
      "A8 Processor"
      Even better camera / lens / sensor / flash

      oh well, I can dream cant I ? :P
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by ohthatguyagain View Post
      iPhone 4 and iPad have excellent tech and work reaaaally fast for nearly every function they serve (thanks to jailbreaking for hooking it up).

      The iPhone 5 and iPad 2 are going to have hardware that, currently, is completely over-killing the software.

      Think they'll advance the iOS to a new level? What kind of new programs could we expect to run on these devices? Diablo 3??
      There are quite a few people who would appreciate a hardware upgrade from what's in the iPad now. I'll admit it seems like less of a problem on the iP4, but it's still there. Webpages that use a lot of javascript can take 10+ seconds to load, despite only having a few hundred kB worth of content. Until my tablet loads pages instantly like my desktop, I'll be happy to see hardware upgrades.

      There are some games that can get a little rough on the iPad already too, and if they dramatically increase the resolution they will 100% need significantly better GPU performance.

      In addition to providing more power when it's needed, multi-core setups can use less power when not needed compared to higher clocked single core setups. Nvidia recently published a whitepaper (PDF) about the (not new) idea to promote their Tegra2 system. The inclusion of OpenCL also opens the possibility for some high-performance algorithms that don't have native hardware acceleration to be run in a more power efficient manner than on the CPU. Hardware acceleration of WebM video is a possible example. Improved voice and video recognition is another.

      This is very good news for people who were conservatively expecting a bump to a SGX 540 solution, and those who were worried GPU performance would prevent a resolution upgrade.
    1. baRRy boRRis's Avatar
      baRRy boRRis -
      Quote Originally Posted by ohthatguyagain View Post
      Think they'll advance the iOS to a new level? What kind of new programs could we expect to run on these devices? Diablo 3??
      Crytek are looking for iOS developers, so perhaps Crysis
    1. Buddy17's Avatar
      Buddy17 -
      WRONG....

      Galaxy S phones use the PowerVR SGX540.

      /nit-pick
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      dang!!!! ↑← is now sellin my iPad 32GB $500
    1. Go Gators's Avatar
      Go Gators -
      All this new hardware talk but the iPhone 5 still wont be 4g capable. Pretty sad!
    1. Paulie Walnuts's Avatar
      Paulie Walnuts -
      The thing that bothers me is, is that we are at iPhone 4 and can't get an unteathered jailbreak yet. Why worry about an iPhone 5. When our community is lagging behind. By the time things are released we will be behind even more. I don't want to be a "Negative Nancy" but that's how it seems. I think if we poke and prod Apple enough we might see these upgrades move forward a lot quicker. There was a time when we where way ahead of Apple. But not at the moment as there are worries about new firmwares and patches. I say screw them. Make them work for there money and update, update, update.
    1. Dazz187s's Avatar
      Dazz187s -
      Oh yeah, waiting for that iPhone 5, uh anyone want a used iPad


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. McMichael96's Avatar
      McMichael96 -
      for $100? I'll buy it (if it works and is not banged up badly)
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      There are quite a few people who would appreciate a hardware upgrade from what's in the iPad now. I'll admit it seems like less of a problem on the iP4, but it's still there. Webpages that use a lot of javascript can take 10+ seconds to load, despite only having a few hundred kB worth of content. Until my tablet loads pages instantly like my desktop, I'll be happy to see hardware upgrades.

      There are some games that can get a little rough on the iPad already too, and if they dramatically increase the resolution they will 100% need significantly better GPU performance.

      In addition to providing more power when it's needed, multi-core setups can use less power when not needed compared to higher clocked single core setups. Nvidia recently published a whitepaper (PDF) about the (not new) idea to promote their Tegra2 system. The inclusion of OpenCL also opens the possibility for some high-performance algorithms that don't have native hardware acceleration to be run in a more power efficient manner than on the CPU. Hardware acceleration of WebM video is a possible example. Improved voice and video recognition is another.

      This is very good news for people who were conservatively expecting a bump to a SGX 540 solution, and those who were worried GPU performance would prevent a resolution upgrade.
      All great points. Mobile computing companies are all racing to build a CPU/GPU that will give a mobile device true desktop performance - like opening webpages instantly.
    1. saunupe1911's Avatar
      saunupe1911 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Buddy17 View Post
      WRONG....

      Galaxy S phones use the PowerVR SGX540.

      /nit-pick
      And they have no games to play on it.