Imagination's Furian architecture

Article: A Look Inside Apple’s Custom GPU for the iPhone
By: Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar), March 8, 2017 10:02 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
David Kanter (dkanter.delete@this.realworldtech.com) on October 25, 2016 5:35 am wrote:
> Ladies and Gentlemen,
>
> I have a new article for you.
>
> Previously, Apple’s iPhones and iPads used PowerVR GPUs from Imagination Technologies for graphics. Based
> on our analysis, Apple has created a custom GPU that powers the A8, A9, and 10 processors, shipping in the iPhone
> 6 and later models, and some iPads. Using public documents, we demonstrate that the programmable shader cores
> inside Apple’s GPU are different from Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR and offer superior 16-bit floating-point
> performance and data conversion functions. We further believe that Apple has also developed a custom shader
> compiler and graphics driver. The proprietary design enables Apple to deliver best-in-class performance for
> graphics, and other tasks that use the GPU, such as image processing and machine learning.


Since Imagination has announced a new architecture for which RTL won't be released for a few months yet, this might afford the opportunity to gain additional insight into what Apple is doing. ARM didn't release RTL for their first 64 bit chip until the middle of 2013, but Apple shipped a fully custom 64 bit core that September, essentially front running the IP owner.

If Apple was going to continue to use Imagination IP in the future you'd expect Apple, as Imagination's largest customer by far, to be closely involved in the design of Furian. Presumably involved enough that Apple wouldn't have to wait for Imagination to complete the RTL, and could front run them, just like they didn't have to wait for ARM back in 2013.

Even if Apple continues to customize so their cores don't exactly resemble any shipping Imagination parts, maybe we'll see evidence of Furian in the A11 core, such as pipelines with a MAD and MUL instead of two MADs?
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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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