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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Future iPhones to Likely Offer Improved Lighting and Shadows with Ray-Tracing GPU


    Apple’s iOS device graphics partner, Imagination Technologies, recently announced a new version of its PowerVR graphics architecture that includes ray-tracing capabilities. The Cupertino California company currently uses the PowerVR G6430 graphics package from Imagination in its latest A7 chip that powers the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini, so Imagination’s new technology is likely one that will pique Apple’s interest. Offering more realistic lighting and shadows, the new GPU design known as “Wizard” marks a significant leap forward by bringing ray tracing to mobile devices. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:

    For the better part of the last eight years, we have been busy developing unique hardware and software technologies to radically lower the cost and dramatically increase the efficiency and performance of ray tracing.

    This work culminates at GDC 2014 with the official launch of the PowerVR Wizard GPU family, a range of IP processors that offer high-performance ray tracing, graphics and compute in a power envelope suitable for mobile and embedded use cases. This opens up the potential of highly photorealistic, computer generated imagery to a host of new real-time applications and markets not previously possible.
    The folks over at AnandTech have more on the developments, which are an extension of the Series6XT graphics profiled last month, noting that Imagination is combing ray tracing with traditional rasterized graphics.

    Rasterization is still the fastest and most effective way to implement a number of real-time rendering steps – rasterization has been called the ultimate cheat in graphics, and over the years hardware and software developers have gotten very, very good at this cheating – so the idea is to continue to use rasterization where it makes sense, and then implementing ray tracing effects on top of scene rasterization when they are called for. The combination of the two forming a hybrid model that maintains the benefits of rasterization while including the benefits of ray tracing.
    Along with the upcoming mobile GPU designs that will support ray tracing, Imagination’s expertise in ray tracing will include an impact on game developers in the nearer term with yesterday’s unveiling of version 5 of the popular Unity game engine. Unity 5 will leverage Imagination’s ray-tracing technology and allow gamer developers to view lighting changes in near real time, accelerating the development process.

    The Cupertino California company hasn’t explicitly shown an interest in taking advantage of the new Wizard GPU designs but the company has used Imagination GPUs in all of its iOS devices and is a minority investor in Imagination, holding approximately 10% stake in the company. As far as timing goes, it seems that Wizard GPUs won’t be making their way into products until 2015. This indicates that they care not candidates for the iPhone 6, which is expected to debut later this year.

    Source: AnandTech, Imagination Technologies (blog), Unity (blog)

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    My iPhone is a Part of Me mlee19841's Avatar
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    They gotta bring something big for the iPhone 6. Up against the galaxy 5 and the htc m8. Plus it's the next up device and not the s model.

  3. #3
    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlee19841 View Post
    They gotta bring something big for the iPhone 6. Up against the galaxy 5 and the htc m8. Plus it's the next up device and not the s model.
    this looks great. but gaming on a small screen is no fun.

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