Author: Zhang Guobin
On April 4, 2017, after tapping 25 senior development talents from partner Imagination Technologies (hereinafter referred to as "Imagination"), Apple informed Imagination that it would abandon all the use of the latter's technology within two years, including patents, knowledge Production, confidential information, etc. This is the first time that Apple has officially announced that it will independently develop GPUs. This 众彩网 is like a blockbuster that blows Imagination's stock to a historical low. However, Imagination, abandoned by Apple, has not gone all the way, but has become increasingly frustrated. Yong, in the industry's first release of the fastest neural network accelerator (after the NNA series), Imagination's GPU also accelerated the update. In December last year, Imagination grandly released the next-generation GPUIMG A-Series (IMG A-Series), which is its history Released the most powerful graphics processor (GPU), IMG A series can do everything! " GPUs that can be applied to various scenarios " is the ultimate solution for a variety of vertical applications , and can support everything from automotive electronics (including assisted driving / autonomous driving), AIoT, computing to digital TV / set-top boxes / digital TV boxes ( DTV / STB / OTT), mobile devices and servers. For more details, please read "In- depth Interpretation of Imagination's Latest Super GPU! Why is it so powerful? 》
It is reported that this IMG A series achieves performance scalability from multiple dimensions, covering components that process 1 pixel (1 PPC) per clock cycle for the entry-level market, all the way up to high-speed devices per second The core of 2 trillion floating-point operations (2 TFLOP), even multi-core solutions for cloud applications that exceed this value.
At this new product launch, Liu Guojun, vice president and general manager of China of Imagination, pointed out in his speech that Imagination is one of the most influential IP providers in the world. Imagination is currently a 100% local enterprise and will fully assist local enterprises. Breakthroughs in mobile computing and artificial intelligence.
Dr. Ron Black, CEO of Imagination Technologies, also said: "optimism is the continuation of the development of the industry. Looking back on history, human beings are just a drop in the ocean. From the perspective of historical development, human beings are becoming prosperous, and everyone needs to improve their quality of life. In the past, only some people were prosperous Most poverty is the opposite, and we believe in the rewards of innovation and effort. "
In fact, some information has been revealed from Dr. Ron Black's speech. Imagination is really inspirational because it has won Apple back by its own efforts! Today, at the beginning of the year 2020, Apple sends a gift to Imagination!
Imagination Technologies ("Imagination") today announced that it has entered into a new multi-year license agreement with Apple to replace a multi-year license agreement previously announced for the first time on February 6, 2014. Under the newly signed agreement, Apple can use Imagination's broader intellectual property (IP) and pay licensing fees.
It seems that the GPU design is still very difficult, and it also shows that Imagination's GPU products have outstanding performance, otherwise Apple will not condescend to cooperate again.
Imagination's outstanding GPU performance comes from years of accumulation. In the field of mobile GPUs, Imagination has accumulated a large number of patented technologies, including the core rendering technology, texture technology, etc. These core technology patents are difficult for Apple to bypass. Here are some of Imagination's core technologies.
After three years of self-developed GPUs, Apple cooperated with Imagination again, which also shows that Apple has great challenges in independent research and development of GPUs. Last year, Apple also acquired Intel's baseband department to prepare to develop baseband products. It is estimated that Apple will launch a self-developed 5G SoC chip solution!
With the increasing demand for display and interactive functions, the performance requirements of GPUs have increased exponentially. To continue to improve, a large amount of accumulation and core technologies are required. Imagination has also accumulated in this field for 15 years. Take its latest IMG A series as an example. It provides significant improvements in every dimension. Compared to the PowerVR equipment currently shipping, its performance is improved by 2.5 times and machine learning processing speed is increased by 8 times on the same clock and semiconductor process. Power consumption has been reduced by 60%.
Compared with the current mainstream GPUs, the new IMA series GPUs have greatly improved energy efficiency. For example, compared with the current popular Qualcomm Adreno GPU and ARM Mali GPU, based on Qualcomm, the same performance ARM requires 184% of the chip area. Means greater power consumption, and if IMG A series GPU is used to achieve Qualcomm performance, the area is about half smaller, if the same area, 175% performance of Qualcomm GPU can be achieved, so the IMA series GPU is the most Strong mobile GPUs are not excessive.
IMG A-series GPUs also provide powerful differentiation advantages, such as ensuring 50% image compression data (lossless in most cases, or visually lossless compression in special scenes). In the future, Imagination will push the other three series of B, C, and D, and the performance will be greatly improved. Cattle!
Even more gratifying is that such an excellent GPU IP supplier is currently 100% local enterprises! Imagination Technologies was acquired by Canyon Bridge, a global private equity investment fund, in 2017. This is a Chinese-funded investment institution. This acquisition is the most cost-effective acquisition --- not spending a lot of money to buy a top global manufacturer !!
In 2020, competition in the field of mobile chips will be more intense, but in the field of mobile GPUs, the king has emerged, and even Apple has followed Imagination. Can our local companies still lag behind? Come on!
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