Ray tracing, the walking dead and monster trucks at MWC 2016

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Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has served as a launchpad for some of the most exciting innovations in graphics technologies from Imagination. In 2014 we disclosed the in-depth architectural details for the PowerVR GX6650 GPU and the way we’ve designed its 192 ALU cores while 2015 saw the introduction of PowerVR GT7900, a super-GPU aimed at game consoles and laptops.

2016 is set to be another great year for mobile graphics. We kicked things off with a bang at CES in Las Vegas where we showed the PowerVR Wizard ray tracing architecture integrated on an ultra-low power PCIe board; this earned us the Best of 2016 CES award from Tom’s Hardware for most promising graphics technology.

This week at MWC we’re unveiling a number of exclusive real-time ray tracing applications running on the quad-cluster PowerVR GR6500 GPU. This energy and area efficient graphics processor is designed to fit comfortably inside a smartphone or tablet chip but can also scale to multi-core, multi-cluster configurations that would power a desktop PC or game console.

Zombie takeover  

The first scene features a deserted city where the zombies take over once nightfall sets. We’re using an experimental version of the Unity 5 game engine that features support for the PowerVR Ray Tracing technology.

In the clip embedded above, we’re showing how the PowerVR GR6500 GPU can easily cope with fully dynamic geometry. This is because the PowerVR Wizard architecture features a dedicated scene hierarchy generator that receives data directly from the shading output. The Unity engine performs dynamic skinning to animate the zombies using a vertex shader, and then the vertex positions are fed into the scene hierarchy generator to assemble the scene acceleration structure in real-time.

PowerVR GR6500 GPU - PowerVR Wizard GPUs

The below screenshots are taken from the same scene and highlight what ray traced reflections can add to a traditional rasterized game using a technique called hybrid ray tracing rendering.

This article
provides more information about hybrid ray traced rendering, and this article provides more information on the performance boost as well as the power and memory bandwidth savings achieved by using hybrid ray tracing to do shadows on a PowerVR Wizard GPU.

PowerVR Ray Tracing - demos (4)

Monster truck madness

This is a fun (and very addictive) little game Will Anielewicz knocked together using the same ray tracing-powered version of the Unity 5 engine. Look closely and you will see one of the gnomes from the Vulkan demo tied to the front of the truck!

One of the great (and often overlooked) advantages of using ray tracing is the ability to simplify content creation for developers. In our example, Will did not have to create any special assets or do any programming to achieve the reflections seen in the game. The Unity game engine provides a flexible and powerful platform for creating interactive content. Enabled by ray tracing, visual effects that were previously impossible become as easy as assigning the right material to an object in the Unity editor.

See these demos at #MWC16 and #GDC16

If you’re in Barcelona and would like to experience these demonstrations live, visit our stand in Hall 6, booth 6E30 at the Fira Gran Via conventer center.

Car (ray traced reflections) - PowerVR Ray Tracing in Unity 5

For those attending GDC 2016 in San Francisco, we will be showing our full set of PowerVR Ray Tracing technologies next month. Visit our dedicated page here to access the schedule for our ray tracing sessions or to find the location of our booth on the show floor.

Make sure you follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationTech, @PowerVRInsider, @PowerVR_RT) to get the latest news and announcements from the PowerVR community.

Alex Voica

Alex Voica

Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

43 thoughts on “Ray tracing, the walking dead and monster trucks at MWC 2016”

    • How would he know? I don’t believe Imagination Technologies makes any consumer products. Like ARM they develop and license IP. So consumers are going to have this product in their hands when one of their licensees decides to make and release a commercial product with it. For example Apple iPhones use their IP for their GPUs (Apple designs it’s own ARM licensed CPUs), Samsung has used their GPU IP in the past for it’s Exynos line although recently they’ve been using ARM’s Mali GPU IP instead, and some MediaTek SoCs (including the one in the Amazon Fire TV set top box) to name a few. So maybe the next iPhone will have it or the next Amazon Fire TV or someone else. No matter who does it though it will likely be the licensee that makes the announcement not Imagination Technologies.

      • Thanks for the semantic lesson. I re-question to make you happy: when IMG is going to license this product, or maybe even better :have IMG licensed these products yet to some supplier in order to see the final product in customer hands?
        Is that better?

        • Not really any better at all. Let’s say they’ve already licensed it to company X. It would be up to Company X to make that announcement not IMG. The fact that they’ve made a public announcement likely means it’s available to license but it’s up to the licensee not IMG to decide when/if to make any specific product announcements. Even if IMG DID announce that Company X has licensed that tech that doesn’t mean they have any idea when or even if Company X is going to release a product based off of it. Maybe Company X licensed it for R&D or intended to release a product but changed course. Either way it makes no sense at all, no matter how your word it, to ask IMG when customers are going to have a product in their hands.

          • You must have been lost in between your X and Y. In meantime when, and if, you have time even in this web-site and from time to time even Alex announced the licenses products in the coming year. Apple has different story.
            This with your magic math should make you wonder why the question has been asked.
            Then, again if you have time and don’t read too much X and Y, you can follow up the story of this specific GPU thru the latest 3 years of showing off demos. Before or later and praying God, this product will be seeing the light of Lord, won’t it?
            Rhetoric and semantic..best way to avoid direct questions..do you work in the market space? I bet you do…

          • I have no idea what you just said, your grammar is horrible. I assume from this that English is not your first language.

          • I don’t think anyone apart from Alex works in the industry, but it shouldn’t interest the debate in the least….
            Yes it’s been ~3 years since they sold the PC ray tracing boards and I would had wished personally they would had continued with followup hw with those, but they probably couldn’t afford it. After that stage they had to integrate the ray tracing IP into their GPU IP and only recently they were able to get to silicon with the resulting IP, which isn’t exactly cheap for an IP company like IMG and no it’s not common practice either. They have somehow to have a bit more to show from it then just the IP itself and I’m not even confident they will. These things take their time especially if the resource constraints are as big as they are……
            To the question itself: there’s no chance Alex or anyone else would be ever allowed to answer when the IP is going to make it into a final product. If I’d ask him if they at least have one licensee for it, he again probably wouldn’t be allowed to answer it. My gut feeling tells me they might have had or still have one or maybe two negotiations about it with partners and until the duck lays its eggs and the farmer gives the green light there are not going to be any formal announcements, tidbits or even hints about it. I’m not even sure the duck has any eggs to lay yet….
            As for the Gamasutra interview with David Harold above: I can’t think of any bold enough console vendor today that would be bold enough for such a move, but that’s probably just me….

          • I’m not sure I agree with bold enough sentiment. I wouldn’t be SHOCKED if the NX that Nintendo plans to announce later this year used ray-tracing as it’s new gimmick for example. I’m not saying I think that is likely but I don’t think it’s completely out of the question. I could also see Apple, Google, or Amazon getting more serious about gaming on the micro-consoles in the next revision or two of them (clearly not the current hardware). Apple created the low level Metal API and Google is supporting Vulkan on Android 6+ (Amazon Fire OS is based on Android as well) so maybe the next Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV or Nexus Player will be a more full featured gaming box. Apple already supports some limited gaming on the newest Apple TV so they’re moving (slowly) in that direction and Amazon Fire TV is a bit more full featured. Heck nVidia has the Shield Android TV which have very strong gaming support and while nVidia isn’t going to use IMG GPU tech maybe that will push Google into stronger support for other Android TV based gaming platforms that IMG can benefit from.

          • Unless Nintendo has made a 180 degree turn in its philosophy when was the last time when they went for an increased BOM for anything?
            As for NV’s set top box I haven’t seen them selling as hot cakes either because it’s simply too expensive compared to competing solutions. It’s a niche product from NV which is trying to prove Lord knows what, along with the rather sw ill fated Pixel C tablet, while the primary concentration of NV for Tegras falls into the automotive direction for obvious reasons.
            For a smart TV or set top box as a more advanced gaming device there still hasn’t anyone made any daring moves because things haven’t matured in that direction and I’m not sure that they actually will.
            Apple simply integrated an A8 into it’s Apple TV because the underlying hw had to be updated at some point obviously. It’s not an A9X for obvious reasons, which in Manhattan3.1 is by a magnitude of 6.6x times ahead of the 6450 in the A8.

          • I’m really not sure what Nintendo’s deal is. The NX is supposed to be some sort of hybrid mobile device/console so it seems as likely as any other theory that they could use PowerVR based GPUs. In fact it makes more sense for them than having them use a bleeding edge desktop GPU like AMD’s Polaris. Again though I’m not saying I think that’s going to be the case, just that I wouldn’t be shocked of that’s what the NX ended up being.
            NV’s set top box isn’t selling like hot cakes but it’s selling better than any other Android TV micro-console and unless you think Google is just going to abandon that form factor entirely it would make sense to have them try to grab some new tech like IMG’s raytracing to push the platform forward in the future. Also PowerVR based SoCs are more readily licensed than NVs Tegra line so I could see Google not wanting to build their gaming platform on top of NV’s tech. Again I’m not saying I expect the announcement next month or anything, the micro consoles aren’t refreshed yearly but in the next refresh or two this tech will be several years old and may make it’s way into affordable micro-consoles.
            Game micro-consoles are BRAND NEW. The current Apple TV is the FIRST Apple TV to support apps at all, let alone games. Apple creating the Metal Graphics API and Apple TV supporting apps, including games, shows their moving in that direction at least. Again, I’m not saying THIS generation but the NEXT Apple TV or the one after could very well use this tech (and again these don’t refresh yearly unlike the phones so thats several years we’re talking about). Amazon even more so has started to focus on gaming for FireTV. They have a whole sku that’s gaming oriented and they’ve actually started buying game studios so they have first party game developers for their platform. We are in the very early days here but I don’t think this market is going away and I could absolutely see IMG’s raytracing tech used in the next Fire TV or the one after that.
            It’s been hard to really implement a great gaming platform up until now for Google/Android because they really only supported OpenGL ES which isn’t the best thing in the world for a dedicated gaming device. That all changed not too long ago though when Vulkan officially launched. Again we’re at the VERY early days of micro consoles and sure the haven’t taken the world by storm yet but unless you seriously think everyone is just going to abandon the form factor I don’t see why it would be so implausible that someone would embrace IMGs ray tracing tech going forward.

          • For which the majority sounds more like wishful thinking than any indication for anything. For both Nintendo- and Google-whatever you’d first need a SoC manufacturer that would use IMG’s GPU IP, as for any of the two designing any SoCs sounds unlikely at this stage.
            And no NV’s set top box isn’t selling better than competing set top boxes; only if you place it in a category of it’s own like a “gaming set top box” or whatever else a tiny bit is always better than flat zero of course.
            To wrap it up any of the above IHVs dipping their little toe into deep water doesn’t suggest, mean or indicate that anyone as of yet has licensed the hybrid ray tracing/GPU IP. It’s not impossible that someone has or will during the cause of time license it, but for now the silence around it is defeaning.
            Finally it’s developers/ISVs that need to get convinced of the necessity of the IP itself and that’s something that’s neither easy nor cheap.
            The only weak light at the other end of the tunnel is that Samsung is actively researching for cheap ray tracing for ULP mobile SoCs, but they’ve been forever developing GPU hw that wasn’t worth a dime, so I won’t yet get excited about any possible trend yet.

          • SoC manufacturers DO use IMGs GPU IP. The Amazon Fire TV that is currently out uses a MediaTek MT8173 SoC that has an IMG PowerVR Series 6XT GPU. This is the same GPU series in the Apple A8 and A8X it just has less clusters (2 vs. 4 and 8 for Apple.) The Apple TV uses the A8 so both Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV are using IMG GPU IP and there is a good chance they will do so in future revisions of these products as well. MediaTek isn’t Amazon exclusive either and many of their SoCs use IMGs GPU IP and their SoCs are in many Android devices. Google and Amazon don’t design SoCs at all, they just buy them from people like MediaTek for their products.
            As for NV maybe you should read what I said. I said it’s selling better than any other ANDROID TV, that’s a specific OS/app platform. I did NOT say better than “competing set top boxes” in general. So again unless you think Google is going to abandon the SPECIFIC Android TV platform (which is certainly possible) there is likely to be some innovation going on here and IMGs Ray Tracing is certainly something they could add support for IF they do decide to continue with the platform.
            If someone with an existing app platform such as Google, Amazon, Apple, or Nintendo adds platform support for IMGs Ray Tracing Tech then I’ve little doubt developers/ISVs will use it. If no platform support is added however I doubt developers/ISVs will jump on the tech via extensions or home grown solutions in any significant numbers.
            Samsung doesn’t develop custom GPUs, they license the IP from others. In the past they HAVE licensed IMG PowerVR IP for the GPUs but of late most of their SoCs seem to be ARM Mali based. I don’t believed they’ve developed their own GPU at all, at least not in any shipping products. It’s entirely possible they swap back from ARM Mali to IMG PowerVR in the future as well. The only major mobile players that developer their own GPU tech are Qualcomm with their Adreno GPUs and NV who uses their own GPUs (if you even want to consider NV a major mobile player). Pretty much everyone else develops their SoCs with either licensed ARM Mali GPUs or IMG PowerVR ones.

          • Nintendo never designed SOC or CPU/GPU by his own.
            They always used third parties (such as IBM/AMD). They won’t change at this round too.
            So if it’s the case who could be the SOC or APU producer then?
            I don’t see many alternatives around: Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, Nvidia, AMD, Intel.
            Mediatek is the only one the uses IMG GPU solutions from the above list.
            This makes me think rationally the Nintendo will not have any IMG solutions and specifically any Raytracing capabilities.
            I really hope to be damn wrong.

          • Who amongst us mortals knows what Nintendo is cooking anyway?
            Apple would be the likeliest candidate, but I’m not that sure that they’re “that” much interest in a gaming platform yet. The future will tell of course.

          • At no point did I say Nintendo designed an SOC or CPU/GPU by his own.
            I have no idea who is going to design the NX’s SOC and having no idea I’m not prepared to exclude IMG IP from being in it. The Wii U has a Multi-Chip module made by Renesas that includes a CPU designed by IBM and a GPU designed by AMD. I doubt Nintendo will stick with IBM but who knows. The 3DS has a CPU based on ARM IP and a GPU by Digital Media Professionals Inc. The NX is rumored to be some sort of mobile console hybrid so maybe their go with an ARM CPU and a AMD GPU, maybe they’ll copy the PS4 and Xbox One and go with an AMD x86 CPU, who knows. Nintendo isn’t known for pushing super high end tech though so personally I find it MORE likely they’d go with a “gimmick” like IMG’s hardware ray tracing on their new platform than some bleeding edge AMD graphics tech like a Polaris based GPU. Maybe they’ll just punt and include a GCN 1.0 based GPU like the PS4 and Xbox One though. Again I don’t KNOW what they’ll use because they do wacky crap so I wouldn’t put it past them to try to use something like IMGs ray tracing tech to differentiate themselves.
            As for your list Qualcomm and Nviida make their own GPUs. Qualcomm I don’t believe has ever been in a console so I doubt Nintendo would use them. Consoles HAVE used Nvidia GPUs in the past so the NX may well go that way but if they do it won’t use IMGs ray tracing tech. Samsung has used IMG GPU IP in the past and they have none of their own so they very well could use it again in the future. MediaTek is currently using IMG GPU IP and is already in Amazon Fire TV. AMD makes their own GPUs and is in the same boat as nVidia there. Intel has even used IMGs GPU IP in the past despite having their own mobile tech. The Intel Atom Z3590 for example has a PowerVR 6430 GPU and that’s isn’t even a year old.

          • Samsung doesn’t have any usable GPU IP but that doesn’t mean that they’re not developing failure after failure over the years. All you need to do is google for “samsung developing own GPU inquirer” which will lead you to very specific details of their last failed project.
            As for Samsung’s experiments with a ray tracing hack there’s a PowerVR Wizard thread in the Beyond3D forum that contains a link to its whitepaper.
            No one has excluded the possibility of Wizard ending up in some sort of console in the future; however so far not even a possible licensee is known, which unfortunately renders anything above into wishful thinking.

          • There’s rumors on the internet of Apple making it’s own GPU IP as well now that they design their own CPUs. The fact that Samsung has been trying to develop GPU IP doesn’t preclude them from using IMG IP in the future as well. I’m not saying Samsung will NOT develop GPU IP in the future, maybe they will. I’m just saying I wouldn’t rule out them using IMG IP in the future as they have in the past.
            The comment I originally replied to was:
            “I can’t think of any bold enough console vendor today that would be bold enough for such a move”
            That sure does look to me like he was excluding the possibility to me. My comments were never about if there was a CURRENT licensee or not.

          • Apple develops custom CPUs based on ARM ISA just as Samsung as of lately, NVIDIA or Qualcomm. Rumors for Apple designing supposedly their own GPU originated from the fact that they got a few brains (ie leading GPU engineers) from the ex AMD Orlando GPU team and there was a leak somewhere that after A7 their CPUs will be called Apple Ax GPU. If you check the Kishonti database you won’t see any GX6450, GT7600 listed for Apple devices but Apple A7, A8 etc GPU. Part of it being justified since they have mirrored the GX6450 for A8X and the GT7600 for A9X in order to reach 8 and 12 clusters respectively.
            As for Samsung coming back to IMG GPU IP, if IMG decides at some point to give the IP away with the same “sacrifices” as ARM does for Mali sure.
            And no I can’t think of any bold enough console vendor today, for which console vendors today are considered Nintendo, SONY and Microsoft. What might grow on anyones tree in the future is a chapter of its own and remains wishful thinking for now.
            Last but not least for the license or no license, check the IMG FY16 last Half year results page 25, which ironically in a way answers LDMs original question and makes this whole side-parade rather redundant.

          • Well it’s not really a “custom” GPU per se; they merely took a GX6450 and mirrored it to 2*GX6450 in A8X and a GT7600 and mirrored it to 2*GT7600 in A9X. When you say custom some folks might mistakenly think that Apple’s engineers interfeared in the architectural structure of IMG GPU IP, which definitely is not the case.

          • True…even though I still think Apple put something under hood which, maybe, is something different from typical GT design..
            Moreover the GPU in A9X that seems to be a 12 clusters configuration looks like a departure from the Series 7XT..if I am not mistaken…

          • Series7XT has 7200,7400, 7600, 7800 and the 16 cluster 7900. A9 has the 6 cluster GT7600 from the above lineup and A9X a “gemini setup” for the former meaning 2*GT7600 = 12 clusters. Both of them are DX10.0, as DX11.2 is optional for 7XT.
            For the record I think that Apple was seaking for unique GPU configs even before the A8X. The SGX554 was used by Apple exclusively.

          • Yes that was the only license for it. I have the feeling that IMG leaves somewhere in the upper middle a field blank (like the one for 12 clusters in 7XT) so that Apple can mirror and have something “unique”. As if there’s any other licensee out there that integrates as big GPUs in their SoCs anyway 😛

          • Looking at preliminaries bench results of Samsung Galaxy S7-GPU, it seems that the Mali GPU is slower than Apple A9 GPU…maybe this can make Samsung switch to PowerVr again next year….

          • Mali GPUs always performed quite a bit lower than Rogues cluster for cluster and clock for clock. The T880MP4 in the Kirin950 has 4 clusters at 900MHz and gets in Manhattan3.0 18.0 fps, while the GX6450 (4 clusters) at 533MHz gets 21.6 fps. Normalize the first down to 533MHz and you get 10.7 fps “only”, half what the A8 GPU gets. GalaxyS6 had the T760MP8 at 772MHz which gets 25.9 in the same test and the S7 now has a T8x0MP12 at a lower clock; no wonder the result is lower than for the A9.
            ARM doesn’t charge both licensing fees and royalties as IMG does. As I said before only if IMG levels the same rates and gives the IP nearly for free to Samsung they’re likely to change back to IMG.

          • On the other hand, the Snapdragon version of it with the Adreno 530 GPU seems bit quicker, nothing major anyway.
            I bet the series 7xt plus or 8xt will be much quicker than Mali/Adreno.
            I never was aware of the story of IMG fees and royalties, now I am start to understand why so many Mali versions around phones/tablets and very few PowerVr GPUs..

          • True for 530 but don’t ask about die area and/or power consumption; it’s oversized for a smartphone. Are there even any long term performance tests for it around in order to see how much it throttles? Samsung didn’t use heatpipes for the 820 for nothing 😛
            IP providers typically charge a licensing fee upon signing the licensing contract. If the IP is brand new and high performance the fee is high and can reach $1.5 per core lisenced. If it’s smaller and/or older obviously less than that.
            After the product starts shipping the IP provider receives royalties according to the amount of units/devices sold. Here again it depends how big and how old the IP is for the royalty rate. On average around 30 cents for PowerVR GPU IP.
            Now skipping one of the two I’ve heard it only for Samsung and not any other semiconductor manufacturer. It makes sense for ARM since Samsung is a large partner and they’re licensing also CPU IP in very high volumes, so they can definitely afford it.

          • Would you think the situation could change if IMG starts to license more MIPS CPU in which a potential SOC would then use PowerVr GPU?
            Maybe in that case Samsung could design a SOC with only IMG things (CPU and GPU)…

          • It wouldn’t require more quantities for MIPS licenses but at least one good smartphone SoC license. For that China looks right now the best region to set it as a target and not established and big SoC manufacturers which are unlikely to take any such risks.

          • Thanks for your infos, you gave me so many news I was not aware of.
            Will certainly sneak inside Beyond3D :), I am pretty sure there many interesting discussions inside there.

          • I never said ”you said” Nintendo designed Soc. Mine was rational dispute that seems difficult that Nintendo get the Ray tracing for the arguments I have explained.

          • Renesas that time was in charge of the fabrication process of AMD GPU, nothing to do with IBM.
            The latest rumours of NX seems to direct to a similar solution of XBOX one, PS4: AMD APU.
            I wouldn’t mind seeing NVIDIA with some solution inside NX, but this only to have a different type of competitor from other consoles.
            Intel has used IMG GPU, the latest atoms products seems to go to their own house GPU. They stick with PowerVR only for smartphones and some tabletsI believe because it’s more fittable for that type of products.
            I am still waiting for Intel to announce the next Atom generation for smartphones…maybe they will incorporate IMG PowerVr Series 7 XT…

          • Nintendo turned the original Tegra down (which didn’t really contain any masterpiece of a GPU….) due to power and BOM reasons.
            For Intel: rumor had it that they’ll even use GenX IP in their future smartphone SoCs; however there were mentions in past IMG statements that Intel has licensed again. Hopefully not just video encoding/decoding IP. A GT7400 would be great that’s true 😉

          • I do agree generally. IMG has already few SOCS partners around in the lower GPU class, Mediatek in primis. IMG has also partnership with Renesas in the automotive markets.
            But both of them don’t seem to announce any ”different” future SOCs with the Raytracing inside..I hope to be wrong anyway.
            Nintendo never had designed his own soc, like for example Sony; Nintendo had always taken existing chips maker for their cpu/gpu (IBM/AMD). And I don’t think they will change at this round again. Unless someone like Mediatek could be interested in producing some specific SOC incorporating IMG GPU for Nintendo.
            Samsung seems enjoying partnership with Mali GPU, so can’t seem them either.
            Who else? Intel..dont think so too..these guys are too much keen promoting their in house HD graphics.
            The only one that could really use IMG raytracing could be Apple. But Apple will never be interested to produce soc for other parties..but only for their products.
            Hence I would see IMG ray in future iPad, or Apple TV…as realistic possibility.

          • I am wondering whether the future versions of Vulkan/Open gl will support they hybrid ray tracing of IMG. If so, this could be the starting point and we might see the future tv-consoles with more advanced graphics solutions.
            If not, then IMG will have to push someone of industry to get this goes ahead. I am pretty sure the IMG guys are already pushing hard industry in this direction.
            However, as you know, developing a new console with new features is always a challenge, big investment and could end up in a big fail if software’s developer won’t support it. PS-Vita, albeit being a nice machine, has seen hard times in the market and still cannot be named as successful console..but in somehow it’s still alive and has a market.
            I only can see Apple, at this stage, to implement this technology as they have no cash restrictions.
            Nintendo? I wish they would come with the IMG ray, but it’s more likely to have another version of AMD onboard…and so be it..

          • Just to clarify/expand on announcing customers for a certain technology.
            There are the straightforward deals that get announced in a press release: “Company X has licensed technology Y from Imagination.”
            Then there are deals where both parties feel it would be strategic to keep them undisclosed from the general public for some time. This happens for various reasons, some of which you might be already familiar with.
            Finally, there are also deals where entities license a certain technology for R&D or academic purposes, not necessarily to build a consumer product (e.g. the MIPSfpga program).
            Hope this settles the debate, but let me know if you have further questions and we can take them offline or via another channel.

          • The original question wasn’t “When will there be an announcement on who has licensed this technology?” though. If it were I wouldn’t have replied at all as it would be the type of question answered by your “straightforward deal” example.
            The question was “So when the customers are going to have this product in their hands?” so even knowing that “Company X has licensed technology Y from Imagination.” doesn’t mean Imagination has any idea when Company X will actually ship a product to consumers. That depends on availability of other components of the new product, Company X’s distribution network, etc. that Imagination doesn’t necessarily have any knowledge of.
            It just doesn’t make sense to ask an IP company when commercial products based on their tech are going to be on shelves. It makes more sense to ask an IP company who has licensed the tech and then ask the licensees when they intend to ship their products.

          • Alex, it’s all good really. Every makes sense now in the Asmodai world: Question resolved, hope no further semantic and rhetoric lesson by him.
            Anyway apart his – sense- comments, I understood that at this stage for this specific product you can’t disclose any more infos and that’s basically was all my question about.
            In the past, for some other products, as you said, you could give more infos.
            I hope the guy understand the metaphor and doesn’t get stuck in his semantics.
            Thanks Alex.

      • Thank you for your comments, you both bring up good points. I understand that there is real demand from developers and consumers alike for this technology and everyone wants to see it in silicon and in a consumer product as soon as possible. However, the other side of the argument is true as well. We can’t pre-announce customers for any technology unless they give us explicit permission to do so.
        When it comes to PowerVR Wizard, I believe my colleague David Harold provided a reasonable answer to your question in this interview with Gamasutra:
        Q: Seriously, though, can we get a new PowerVR chip to make the Dreamcast 2?
        David Harold: Okay, let’s be serious about it then.
        We have GPU IP that is highly scalable and would be ideal for a console.
        We’re in a current handheld console – PSVita – as well as in the three
        top OTT boxes with gaming capabilities from the industry giants. So we
        have some play in the space. However, with our hybrid ray tracing
        technology we have what I believe is the technology that can set a bold
        console maker well ahead of the competition. So now we have the
        question: who is ready to be different? To have games which actually
        look different from the competition in real ways, not just a few frames
        faster or with less blur. And to have technology that sets artists free
        from a lot of the drudgery, and lets them focus on creativity. We’ll
        see, but I think there’s a decent chance that someone will have the
        nerve to make that step before too long.
        I hope this provides an answer to your initial question.
        (I had to moderate the discussion as it was going off-topic.)

        • I believe that the future set-top boxes TV will be powerful consoles. And maybe the ray-tracing can have an important space in it, don’t you think? I’ve read this article and I am quite excited about that and the potential development of this technology, can’t wait! 🙂


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PowerVR SDK and Tools 21.1 Out Now – including ray tracing simulator

The sun is starting to come out, people are returning to society, and potentially most exciting; we at DevTech are releasing a new version of the PowerVR SDK and Tools. The PowerVR SDK contains not only our graphics development framework, but also a handful of example applications that show you not only how to implement certain techniques, but also make the most out of your PowerVR platforms. Between the modules that help you deploy cross-platform or libraries that let you focus on the actual code rather than boilerplate setup; our SDK has everything you need to hit the ground running with making a high-performance application. We’re starting with the SDK, rather than the tools this time, because this first talking point is a pretty big one, we think. 

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ray tracing Detail Lighting

Imagination collects 5G Cloud Gaming Industry Alliance award for ray tracing

Imagination pioneered hardware-based ray tracing technology several years ago with a focus on an ideal blend of performance, quality power efficiency and the IP is available for licensing. Its efforts have been recognised by the 5G Cloud Gaming Industry Alliance (5GCGA), a new cross-industry collective that aims to develop the 5G cloud game industry worldwide.

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ray tracing primer

Introducing Imagination Originals: a new 3D art competition for all

With ray tracing on mobile hardware an approaching reality, we wanted to show the world the kind of thing that could be created when mobile gaming meets ray tracing. Imagination Originals initiative is a challenge to the game art community to make gorgeous work but with the added sparkle of ray traced lighting, whilst working strictly within the limits of mobile power budgets.

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