Imagination GDC 2017 demos on show

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As we said in this post last month, Imagination is once again at GDC to demonstrate our leadership in mobile graphics. On the first day of the event we hosted a very successful, packed-out panel session on ‘The Future of VR and Mobile Graphics’. This was a very thought provoking session featuring experts from companies that spend a lot of time thinking about this topic: Epic Games, Google, Oculus, Samsung, and Unity. We’ll touch on some of the discussion topics in future posts including challenges and opportunities for VR in mobile.

IMG panel session GDC17

Meanwhile, over at our booth on the expo floor (#532) we have a number of demos showing off some of our latest developments in embedded, mobile graphics.

IMG booth GDC17

Unreal Engine 4 on Vulkan

This demo shows the Unreal Engine 4 running on PowerVR using the Vulkan API. Seeing one of the world’s most popular game engines on PowerVR hardware using Vulkan demonstrates our commitment to using the latest technologies. Thanks to our driver support developers don’t need to change their game code to use Vulkan on PowerVR hardware – it just works!


PowerVR ray tracing in Unreal Engine 4

Keeping to our GDC 17 mantra of ‘making better pixels’ the star of the Imagination booth this year is a demo that shows off the use of ray tracing in the Unreal Engine 4. It shows the visual quality that ray tracing provides by delivering physically accurate reflections. The demo is an expanded version of one of the regular engine tutorial scenes. The engine can be switched between raster mode and full ray traced mode on the fly, making it easy to see the difference.

To read a full, in-depth discussion of the making of the demo and the challenges involved in creating it you can read our blog post.



VR on MediaTek Helio X30

MediaTek is one of the world’s leading SoC manufacturers and it has just announced its new Helio X30 chipset for high-end smartphones which features PowerVR graphics. The Helio X30 integrates a Series7XT four-cluster design that offers plenty of horsepower for the latest cutting-edge mobile games, and that of course, includes VR. The PowerVR 7XTP runs at a nominal 800MHz, giving it plenty of grunt so it can conform to Google’s Daydream VR framework.

The prototype handset we have at GDC has a display running at 2560 x 1440 resolution and is displaying a VR demo showing an immersive cartoon-like environment created using OpenGL ES 3.0. For the purposes of the demo the prototype device is placed inside an inexpensive BoboVR Z4 headset.

Come down to the booth to see the smoothness of the PowerVR graphics provided by MediaTek’s Helio X30.


Tessellation is a technique that helps game developers create more complex models without having to create multiple levels of detail. The technique generates more vertices from the source geometry, enabling triangles to be created in real time to provide the appearance of a much more detailed model or character. It’s adaptive, in that as the user moves closer to a 3D model in a scene the extra triangles are created to deliver extra detail. It’s a time saver for developers as rather than creating a high-resolution version of a 3D model it can all be done on the fly. Tessellation saves bandwidth too, as it negates the need for extra geometry to be passed through memory to the GPU. Rather, the additional triangles are created by the GPU itself. This can now be done in hardware using a Series7 PowerVR GPU so this extra level of visual detail can be delivered at fast frame rates.

PowerVR Series7 tessellation

To see all these demos in action and to talk to someone about them in more detail, come over to Imagination’s booth at GDC 17 (#532) on the expo floor. Feel free to tweet about them using the hash-tag #IMG_GDC17.

For the latest news and announcements on PowerVR don’t forget to follow us on social media; on Twitter @ImaginationTech and @powervrinsider  and on LinkedInFacebook and Google+.




Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even

With a background in technology journalism stretching back to the late 90s, Benny Har-Even has written for many of the top UK technology publications, across both consumer and B2B and has appeared as an expert on BBC World Business News and BBC Radio Five Live. He is now Content Manager at Imagination Technologies.

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