An industry perspective on PowerVR’s 25th anniversary

Picture of Jo Jones
Aug 30, 2017  |  3 min read

As we celebrate 25 years of PowerVR, it’s only right that we also look to those in the industry for their thoughts – from those that worked on the technology at the very beginning to those that are incorporating the latest technology into their products.

Simon Fenney, Research Fellow at PowerVR, is proud of PowerVR’s achievements since he joined Imagination Technologies (or VideoLogic as it was in the early 1990’s). He said: “PowerVR was merely a small side-project with the daunting task of establishing a market for affordable 3D PC graphics when I joined the company. I knew we had achieved this when our first 3D graphics card, the Apocalypse 3D, became available for sale – knowing we had something tangible and unique to offer the market was deeply satisfying.”

“In PowerVR our aim has always been to make affordable, high-quality and high-performance graphics available to the general consumer. Today, 25 years on, we’ve stayed true to this goal. PowerVR is a leading player in the graphics sector, and although many aspects of our technology have evolved over the years, the underlying tile-based deferred rendering approach has been a mainstay.”

It’s this tile-based rendering architecture that has set PowerVR apart from its competitors according to industry analyst Jon Peddie: “I believe PowerVR’s strong industry reputation will be forever synonymous with being, one of, if not the first to deliver the low power, tile-based rendering architecture, making the company one of the key enabling technologies for the smartphone revolution.”

Peddie went on to say, “PowerVR has always been at the forefront of graphics innovation, from its very first GPUs to its latest architecture today, Furian. Imagination Technologies has built on the expertise that it has amassed over the years to create architecture and cores that deliver performance for the next-generation of applications.”

Peddie’s comments are echoed by our customers too. PowerVR’s multimedia technology has been incorporated into some of the world’s leading products, including TVs, streaming devices, smartphones, tablets, watches, VR devices, automotive systems, gaming platforms and more. Today we have customers around the world in the USA, Russia, China, Taiwan, Japan and Europe.

Ryuji Omura, Executive Vice President, Renesas Electronics Corporation commented: “Major leaps in technology are driving a complete transformation of the automotive industry, and Renesas’ solutions are at the heart of this change. Our long time strategic collaboration with Imagination and its advanced PowerVR graphics and compute technology play a key role in helping us to create high quality dashboard, HMI and ADAS systems that are richer, more reliable and more secure. Congratulations to Imagination on 25 years of PowerVR innovations.”

As well as having a great legacy, PowerVR has received strong support this year from our customers.

Joe Chen, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer at MediaTek, said: “Imagination’s PowerVR XE families of entry-level GPUs are designed to deliver the right feature set at the right price point for the next generation of connected devices. MediaTek is delighted to be working with Imagination to bring the benefits of Series8XE GPUs to manufacturers and consumers worldwide.”

Tim Ponting, ex-Group Publisher SEGA Zone, ex-Activision European PR Director and current EVP IndieDevKit said: “PowerVR was always the clever performance solution. Still some of the best control / graphical performance games ever made in my lifetime. SEGA Rally on DC blew my head off!”

Said Tatiana Solokhina, CTO, RnD Center ELVEES: “The new PowerVR Furian 8XT family from Imagination provides us an industry-leading GPU with new ALU for increased performance density and efficiency. In addition, support for standard compute APIs such as OpenVX enables easy implementation of real world vision processing applications.”

Markus Mierse, senior director IOT and Graphics Solution Business Unit, Socionext said: “Our new SC1810 chipset is part of an expanding range of graphics processor products that leverage our strong engineering expertise and cutting edge technologies to address the most demanding embedded applications, and provide the rugged features and long life needed for multiple industries. The PowerVR GPU hits the sweet spot in terms of performance, efficiency and features.”

Dr. Zhenyu Zhou, CEO of Actions Semiconductor said: “Actions is developing a range of leading-edge solutions for the fast growing virtual reality market featuring amazing audio and video capabilities. Our high-end S900VR delivers a superior experience, due in large part to the stellar performance and power efficiency of Imagination’s PowerVR GPU. We are delighted that Nibiru selected the S900VR for its exciting new headset solution.”

Our own blogmeister, Benny Har-Even, was working as a journalist in the tech industry across many consumer tech publications in print and online, before joining Imagination last year. He has long known and loved PowerVR. He recalled: “In the late 90s and early 00s the graphics market was a crowded place, but PowerVR technology, (from VideoLogic as it was back then), stood out from the crowd with its unique approach to delivering pixels on the screen. The TBDR approach of emphasising brain over brawn was technically pleasing, as exemplified by boards based on the Kyro I and II chips. For journalists this was manna from heaven as it gave us something different to talk about and kept things interesting for readers. It’s no surprise to me that PowerVR went on to do so well in the mobile and embedded space. It’s a privilege to be working at Imagination today.”

Looking ahead, thanks to rapid developments in areas such as, AR, VR, computer vision, AI, and automotive, we’re excited to help PowerVR continue its story. We will continue to stay true to our original goal to make affordable, high-quality and high-performance graphics available to the general consumer. We truly believe that our embedded GPU technology is the best in the industry and we look forward to helping our customers deliver ever-more immersive and engaging experiences on their devices.


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About the Author
Picture of Jo Jones

Jo leads internal communications at Imagination Technologies. She was previously the Senior PR Manager at Imagination, where she was in charge of media relations and public affairs. In her current role, Jo is responsible for overseeing internal communications and employee engagement activities, from business updates to social events. She’s heavily involved in driving initiatives such as mental health and wellbeing; Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DE&I); and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

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