iOS 4.3 Points To Next Gen GPU Coming To Future iPhone, iPad
Until now, Appleâ€™s iOS devices including the likes of the iPhone 4, iPad, iPod Touch 4G, and Apple TV (2010) uses the PowerVR SGX535 GPU from Imagination Technologies for all their graphics rendering needs. Considering the fact that this chip has been in business since the iPhone 3GS days, its longevity is commendable indeed. However, it is clear that Apple would need to look for an upgrade when it comes to the next generation of iOS devices and they might actually have found the perfect one.
Deep inside the iOS 4.3 Beta SDK released to Apple developers earlier in the week, there are references to a driver bundle that indicates that Apple is planning to use the more powerful SGX543 GPU in future iOS devices.
The SGX543 was licensed way back in 2009 but is yet to make an appearance on commercial devices. It is capable of computing 35 million polygons per second and has a filtrate of 1 billion pixels per second when running at 200 MHz. Compare these figures to the SGX535â€™s 28 million polygons per second and a filtrate of 500 million pixels (running at the same speed) and you get an idea of the performance difference that would be evident if Apple uses this new chip in Appleâ€™s next generation iOS devices. Incidentally, it was just a year ago that we reported about the introduction of another series 540 chip – theÂ PowerVR SGX545, which was rumored to be used in iPhone 4. Of course, it’s a different story that it never happened.
In addition, SGX543 supports multicore configurations â€“ a thing the older SGX 535, which will improve performance. It also supports the Open CL specification for GPUâ€™s that allows applications to combine the power of both â€“ the CPU and GPU when in need of extra processing power. It remains to be seen how the SGX543 competes with the soon to arrive Tegra 2 based devices â€“ although current estimates puts the Tegra 2 a notch higher with 10% to 20% better performance over the SGX540 series.
It will be interesting to see if PowerVR SGX543Â GPU will be used in iPad 2 that is expected to be launched towards the end of March or early April.
What do you think?
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