Imagination unveils IMG RTXM-2200 32-bit RISC-V real-time “Catapult” CPU

Imagination IMG RTXM-2200

Imagination IMG RTXM-2200 32-bit RISC-V real-time CPU core is the first member of the company’s Catapult family comprised of four distinct RISC-V families for dynamic microcontrollers, real-time embedded CPUs, high-performance application CPUs, and functionally safe automotive CPUs. The company says it’s a highly scalable real-time, deterministic, 32-bit embedded CPU, that is feature-rich and flexible in design for mainstream devices, but, excuse the pun, leaves most of the details to your imagination… The new core will mostly be used as a helper core (aka co-processor) in more complex SoCs for 5G modems, cellular base stations, networking solutions for data transfer, packet management, and storage controllers, but may also find its way into smart meters. In all fairness, we do have some limited technical details with L1 cache sizes up to 128KB, I/D TCM sizes up to 128KB, and PMA regions. The real-time core will also include optional features such as single-point […]

Imagination open sources PowerVR Series 1 GPU drivers

Saying that Imagination Technologies is not exactly popular in the open-source community would be an understatement, but the company has just open-sourced the driver source for Power Series 1 GPUs namely Midas Arcade, PCX1, and PCX2. If those names do not ring a bell, it might be because some of you may not have been born when PowerVR GPUs were first unveiled in 1995, and launched in products in 1996/1997. Developed jointly by VideoLogic and NEC, PowerVR was touted as the “future of high-quality 3D graphics for the next generation of interactive entertainment”, “whether you are developing 3D systems for console, PC, or arcade systems”. VideoLogic was renamed Imagination Technologies in 1999. The PowerVR PCX1/PCX2 GPUs were notably used in the Apocalypse 3D/3Dx and Matrox M3D graphics cards with support for Direct3D and playing games such as Tomb Raider or Wipeout XL on Windows PCs. I can remember playing those […]

Imagination introduces Catapult RISC-V CPU cores

As expected, Imagination Technologies is giving another try to the CPU IP market with the Catapult RISC-V CPU cores following their previous unsuccessful attempt with the MIPS architecture, notably the Aptiv family. Catapult RISC-V CPUs are/will be available in four distinct families for dynamic microcontrollers, real-time embedded CPUs, high-performance application CPUs, and functionally safe automotive CPUs. The new 32-/64-bit RISC-V cores will be scalable to up to eight asymmetric coherent cores-per cluster, offer a “plethora of customer configurable options”, and support optional custom accelerators. What you won’t see today are block diagrams and detailed technical information about the cores because apparently, all that information is confidential even though some Catapult RISC-V cores are already shipping “in high-performance Imagination automotive GPUs”. The only way to get more details today is to sign an NDA. Having said that we have some more information about the target markets and development tools.  Imagination Capapult […]

Imagination Technologies to design RISC-V cores

Now better known for its PowerVR embedded GPUs, Imagination Technologies tried to enter the CPU market by purchasing MIPS Technologies and introducing microAptiv, interAptiv, and proAptiv cores in 2012. It did not end up well, as the company had to sell its MIPS technology a few years later, and the MIPS architecture is now barely supported. But Imagination is now working on getting back into the CPU space by designing RISC-V cores. At least that’s what the company revealed in a press release also announcing overall revenues increased by 55% to $76m in H1 2021, with $70m in cash, and no external third-party debt. This year Imagination is re-entering the CPU market with designs based around the RISC-V open ISA. Imagination’s heritage in CPU enables it to provide innovative and patent protected technologies for the discrete CPU market as well as addressing demand for heterogeneous solutions that combine GPU, CPU […]

Imagination IMG B-Series GPU family scales from IoT to the datacenter

Last year, Imagination Technologies unveiled IMG A-Series GPU family scaling from low-power IoT to mobile and high-performance server applications with up to 2.5 times the performance of the earlier PowerVR 9-series GPUs, as well as eight times faster AI processing and 60% less power under similar conditions. While I’m not aware of any SoCs announced with the new IMG A-Series GPU yet, the company has already announced the next-gen IMG B-Series GPU family with up to 4 times the multi-core performance thanks to decentralized multi-core technology, 30% lower power consumption, and 2.5 times the fill rate. The company offers four types of IM B-series GPU, each optimized for specific applications IMG BXE for high-resolution displays – From 1 up to 16 pixels per clock (PPC) BXE scales from 720p to 8K for UI rendering and entry-level gaming. IMG BXM designed for mid-range mobile gaming and complex UI solutions for DTV […]

Imagination Unveils IMG A-Series GPU Designed For Everything from IoT to Mobile and Server

Imagination Technologies has just launched IMG A-Series GPU which they claim is “The GPU of Everything” and “The fastest GPU IP ever”. IMG A-Series can be customized and scaled for various applications & markets from automotive, AIoT, set-top box, mobile, and server.  Compared to the company’s earlier PowerVR 9Series GPU, IMG A-Series GPU delivers 2.5 times more performance, eight times faster AI processor, and 60% less power while running complex content with the same process node, area, and under similar conditions. IMG A-Series GPU supports the latest API standards including OpenGL ES, Vulkan, OpenCL, and Imagination provides a Unified AI API for use in combination with PowerVR neural network accelerators. It also offers 5x performance density compared to the best current shipping PowerVR devices and supports PVRIC4 lossless or virtually-lossless compression guaranteeing a 50% bandwidth and footprint reduction. The new GPU also leverages HyperLane Technology with up to eight individual, […]

Imagination iEW220 Low Power Dual-band 802.11n WiFi IP Solution Targets IoT, Automation and Wearables

Imagination Technologies is better known for their PowetVR GPUs and as the previous owner of MIPS technology, but they do have other products as well and the company just announced their second generation 802.11n WiFi IP designed for low power applications Ensigma iEW220 is an IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n 1X1 SISO Wi-Fi IP solution comprised of RF, baseband and MAC, and supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum. iEW220 specifications: RF Features Dual-band 2.4 and 5 GHz RF including PA Power efficient AGC Optimized PLL power consumption Customized PA to minimize Tx power consumption Power optimized DAC/ADC design Integrated transmit/receive switch for RF Single pin RF antenna interface IEEE 802.11 PHY Support (2.4/5 GHz) IEEE 802.11b DSSS/CCK (up to 11 Mbps) IEEE 802.11a/g OFDM (up to 54 Mbps) IEEE 802.11n OFDM MCS 0-7, (20/40 MHz channels, up to 72.2/150 Mbps) Station, soft AP and Wi-Fi direct with up to four associated devices Tx […]

SiFive RISC-V Processors to Support Imagination PowerVR GPU and NNA IP Cores

RISC-V is getting more popular and mature as development progress, but if you want a system with RISC-V and a GPU so far you had to use a PCIe graphics card which is not cost-effective nor practical for most applications based on RISC-V processor. What is needed is some GPU IP that will glue with RISC-V core. Developing a new GPU is not an easy task (understatement of the month) so it would make sense to go with solutions available on the market. However, Arm Mali is tied to Arm Cortex cores and Arm is unlikely to want to help RISC-V take away their market share, and Adreno and VideoCore are owned by respectively Qualcomm and Broadcom which are unwilling to provide their GPU IP to third parties. This basically leaves us with Vivante and Imagination. Vivante may have made the most sense since open-source graphics drivers do exist (Etnaviv), […]