Cost-conscious designs such as IoT wearables, low-end smartphones, set-top boxes, and automotive systems can benefit from Imagination Technologies’ latest PowerVR Series 8XE GPUs (Fig. 1). This latest PowerVR Rogue platform provides the same fillrate as the earlier Seriex 7XE, but using 25% less silicon real estate plus a corresponding reduction in power.
The GPUs do not target compute applications so they do support OpenCL, but they do come with drivers for OpenGL ES 3.2 and the new Vulkan 1.0 interface designed to provide game developers with closer ties to the hardware. Vulkan allows developers better access to the Unified Shading Cluster (USC) array includes 16 pipelines. Each pipeline includes a pair of 32-bit floating point ALU cores and four 16-bit floating-point ALU cores.
The markets that the PowerVR Series 8XE GPUs serve tend to be more interested in lower cost and smaller footprints, but Imagination has also delivered performance and advanced functionality. Its support for hardware virtualization and OmniShield multi-domain security allow the operating system to isolate applications and operating systems so more flexible platforms can be built that will support downloadable applications while not providing them with unrestricted access to the graphics hardware.
The PowerVR SDK v4.0 supports the PowerVR Series 8XE. In comes with a number of improvments including Android 6.x and Android TV support via PVRHub and the PVRShaderEditor now supports tessellation and geometry shaders. PVRTune handles optimization and also supports the earlier GPUs. The PVRTrace debugging tool includes Android Extension Pack (AEP) support. The PowerVR SDK v4.0 is distributed under an MIT license.