Power efficiency is now the dominant factor in mobile design says Imagination

Power efficiency is now the dominant factor in mobile design says Imagination

  PR Newswire

  BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013

- Imagination's technologies proven most power efficient by 3rd parties in
real applications

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS -
Imagination Technologies (IMG.L), a leading multimedia, processor,
communications and cloud technologies company, says that power consumption and
thermal envelope considerations are becoming a dominant factor in mobile SoC
design decisions.

Imagination puts very significant research into design for low power to help
extend the ever-essential battery life of mobile and embedded computing
systems. Designing first for low power has made Imagination the leading GPU
supplier for mobile markets as well as a key supplier in other markets such as
thin, flat TVs, complex automotive dashboards, connected audio/media players
and ultra-portable computers, where power and thermal constraints can be just
as demanding as in mobile devices.

Says Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing, Imagination: "The industry needs a call
to action to acknowledge the realities of low power and thermal requirements
in end user products running real software, not development boards just
running benchmarks. Everyone talks about the importance of power management,
and that's an area where the best in the industry have really drawn ahead of
the pack by adopting technologies and developing design approaches that
support sophisticated power management in SoCs.

"Unfortunately benchmarks used for system performance measurement rarely take
account of power use even though this is a key factor in all modern designs.
We are working closely with the benchmarking industry to address this in
future benchmarks and are encouraging everyone in the industry to take into
account power under real end product operating conditions when considering
performance metrics."

Imagination implements a broad range of fine grain power management features
and capabilities across all of its main IP core families, including:

- PowerGearing™ scaling and management in the PowerVR Series6 GPU architecture
alongside a built-in housekeeping processor that allows local power control,
auto power gating and enabling Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS)

- hardware thread management and core level DVFS in its MIPS® processor cores

- highly power optimised configurable hardware blocks combined with ultra-low
clock PHY modulation and coding processors in its Ensigma communications and
connectivity cores.

Products built around Imagination's technologies deliver excellent lower power
and thermal footprints compared to those using other IP, according to third
party analyses.

Korean website Playwares shows that the thermal characteristic of a leading
PowerVR enabled tablet is over 20% lower than a leading competitor while
running GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt HD. The PowerVR tablet also delivers nearly 50%
better 3D performance.

Anandtech, the leading site for benchmarking-led technology journalism, showed
PowerVR to be the lowest power GPU when compared to its three main competitors
running 3D game content. PowerVR GPUs have set OEM and consumer expectation of
the power budget expectations for premium mobile products (sub 2W for
consistently long battery life) while competitive solutions blow the power
budget using almost 3x as much power.


Fundamental to PowerVR GPUs are architectural design choices that minimise
power consumption including sophisticated power management functions for the
most significant power savings including direct handshake mechanisms between
the GPU and SoC power management functions.

PowerVR Series6 GPUs utilize programmable computing elements known as clusters
that are designed to offer the highest density of computing performance at the
lowest possible power consumption . PowerGearing™ is the robust power
management mechanism that enables PowerVR Series6 'Rogue' cores to deliver
proven best in class low-power performance for mobile devices. Working GPU
processing clusters can be scaled dynamically to optimize power consumption.
For example, the six cluster PowerVR G6630 enables each cluster pair to be
managed, allowing three modes of operations (X2, X4 and X6) as well as a
'first gear' which provides simple 2D graphics functionality for simple UI

The whole graphics pipeline is designed to be managed from a power point of
view and a built-in housekeeping processor allows local power control and auto
power gating and can be used to enable Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling
(DVFS) as well as PowerGearing mechanisms.

Power and performance are further improved by providing optimized compute and
graphics data paths, keeping processing on chip and by employing a wide range
of lossless and lossy data compression techniques within the processing


MIPS processor cores are ideal for products where ultra low-power, compact
silicon area and a high level of integration are required.

MIPS cores are designed for high performance and low power, using power
management techniques including multithreading, clock and voltage/power
gating, voltage and frequency scaling, and multi-core level scaling, with a
range that stretches from ultra-low power 32-bit microcontrollers to scalable
32-bit and 64-bit multi-core solutions from MIPS and leading architectural
licensees for advanced application and network processing platforms.

The MIPS processor family delivers the same or better performance than leading
IP core alternatives in a much smaller silicon footprint, achieving the same
results in nearly half the silicon area, given a common process geometry,
similar configurations and synthesis techniques used. SoC designers can use
this efficiency advantage for significant cost and power savings, or to
implement additional cores to deliver a performance advantage against
competing silicon in the same power, thermal and area budget.

Imagination's MIPS Aptiv™ microprocessor cores received the "Best Processor IP
of 2012" award from The Linley Group in the analyst firm's annual Analysts'
Choice Awards.


Ensigma communications cores use an optimal architecture for low-power designs
using a careful combination of fixed and programmable cores.

Signal conditioning, transmission and error handling are performed as
high-efficiency fixed function hardware blocks while a complex scalable vector
processor with multiple parallel execution units is fully programmable using
low-level microcode to enable demodulation of any communications or
connectivity standard.

The architecture has been proven in numerous low-power audio and connectivity

Editor's Notes

For more information about Imagination at Mobile World Congress, visit

About Imagination Technologies Imagination Technologies - a global leader in
multimedia, processor and communication technologies - creates and licenses
market-leading processor solutions including graphics, video, vision, CPU &
embedded processing, multi-standard communications, cross-platform V.VoIP &
VoLTE and cloud connectivity. These silicon and software intellectual property
(IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by an extensive
portfolio of software, tools and ecosystems. Target markets include mobile
phone, connected home consumer, mobile and tablet computing, in-car
electronics, networking, telecoms, health, smart energy and connected sensors.
Imagination's licensees include many of the world's leading semiconductor
manufacturers, network operators and OEM/ODMs. Corporate headquarters are
located in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See:
www.imgtec.com .

Website: http://www.imgtec.com
Contact: UK: David Harold, +44 (0)1923 260 511, david.harold@imgtec.com; USA:
Jen Bernier-Santarini, +1-408-530-5178, jen.bernier@imgtec.com
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