A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhone

Article: A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhone
By: NickK (redhavoc.delete@this.yahoo.co.uk), January 23, 2017 3:36 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
> It's all very well analysing the docs you reference but in this
> case, there is a much easier way to get the information.
>
> http://www.anandtech.com/show/8706/imagination-announces-powervr-series7-gpus-series7xt-series7xe

From what I understand Apple has most, if not all, of the software development in house. A GPU being a difficult beast on its own I would not be surprised if ImgTech supplies some of the very low level interfacing software/driver of the GPU and Apple creates all the clever stuff on top (driver/compiler).

Concerning the GPU hirings that Apple has done until recently, they were always high level architects/managers rather than people doing the dirty work of implementing a GPU. I would not be surprised if they were giving a direction in the software teams, and deciding the special 'ingredients' they wanted in their hardware. Similar to what Sony/Microsoft have done to their latest generation consoles with AMD.

Also any IP going into an apple product will need to be released about a year before it will make to the product itself. It needs to be implemented into a chip (it would take 2-3 of months once all IP is collected), manufactured in the Fab (another couple of months), and then build at least in a development platform for further software development, optimisation and testing. I would not be surprised if this testing development process takes about 5-6 months from the rumors I hear. Finally there needs to be a production ramp up of the final product before release so that they have adequate numbers, but that could overlap with the previous stage.

Also Apple has the muscle and influence to dictate to ImgTech what becomes public and what not. They may also pay a premium for it, and apple is knows as paying well for services and silicon. I would not be surprised that the 'free' precision conversion is an exaggeration from apple, as some power would be spend, and possibly a cautious approach from ImgTech for the same exact reason. Both may see this from completely different angles.

I would be brave and rule out 5s, 6, 6s and 7 as an apple designed GPU. given the recent hirings, I would not be surprised if they may have bought a license to get the a current design and start making their own derivatives, and potentially we could see their in-house GPU in the 2018 line. If they start from scratch then I would expect the in-house chip to be delivered 2019-2020.
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TopicPosted ByDate
A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneDavid Kanter2016/10/25 06:35 AM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneRicardo B2016/10/25 08:25 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneExophase2016/10/25 08:08 PM
      A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneExophase2016/10/25 11:39 PM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneDoug S2016/10/25 08:59 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhonedmcq2016/10/25 11:07 AM
      A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneMaynard Handley2016/10/25 05:28 PM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneGroo2016/10/30 09:28 PM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneGabriele Svelto2016/10/25 01:58 PM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneAndreas2016/10/26 02:48 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneGabriele Svelto2016/10/26 03:28 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneDoug S2016/10/26 08:06 AM
  A couple of typosJim Trent2016/10/26 07:15 AM
    A couple of typosDavid Kanter2016/10/26 01:22 PM
  A9 has non-DX tessellation pipelineanon2016/10/26 08:23 AM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneEd2016/10/27 04:52 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneanon2016/10/27 06:58 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneDoug S2016/10/27 11:44 PM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhonePeter McGuinness2016/11/04 11:48 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneSalvatore De Dominicis2016/11/05 03:20 AM
    A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneNickK2017/01/23 03:36 PM
      A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneBrett2017/01/28 03:33 PM
        A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneIreland2017/01/28 04:02 PM
        A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneBrett2017/04/03 03:09 AM
        A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneAnon2017/04/04 04:15 PM
          A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneBrett2017/04/04 11:44 PM
  Imagination's Furian architectureDoug S2017/03/08 10:02 AM
    Imagination's Furian architectureGabriele Svelto2017/03/08 02:29 PM
  A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhoneAnonymous coward2017/04/03 03:03 AM
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