Imagination Unveils PowerVR AX2185 and AX2145 Neural Network Accelerators (NNA)

PowerVR AX2185

Imagination Technologies introduced PowerVR Series2NX neural network accelerator (NNA) last year. At the time, the company claimed the NNA would deliver  twice the performance at half the bandwidth over existing competing solutions, and that it was the first dedicated hardware solution with flexible bit-depth support from 16-bit down to 4-bit. What they did not announce last September were any specific parts. But they’ve just done that today with PowerVR AX2185 and AX2145 NNAs “designed to enable high-performance computation of neural networks at very low power consumption in minimal silicon area”. PowerVR AX2185 PowerVR AX2185 is said to be the highest performing neural network accelerator per mm2 in the market with eight full-width compute engines delivering up to 4.1 TOPS (Tera Operations Per Second), or 2,048 MACs/clock. AX2185 NNA can deliver 3.5 times the performance compared to a desktop GPU. The NNA is best suited for high-end smartphones, smart surveillance and automotive markets. PowerVR AX2145 PowerVR AX2145 is a lower cost …

Status of Embedded GPU Ecosystem – Linux/Mesa Upstream Support (ELC 2018 Video)

The Embedded Linux Confernce is on-going, and the Linux Foundation has been uploading videos about talks in a timely manner on YouTube. I checked out at RISC-V keynote yesterday, but today I’ve watched a talk by Robert Foss (his real name, not related to FOSS) from Collabora entitled “Progress in the Embedded GPU Ecosystem”, where he discusses open source software support in Linux/Mesa from companies and reverse-engineering support. The first part deals with the history of embedded GPU support, especially when it comes to company support. Intel was the first and offers very good support for their drivers, following by AMD who also is a good citizen. NVIDIA has the Nouveau driver but they did not really backed it up, and Tegra support is apparently sponsored by an aircraft supplier. Other companies have been slower to help, but Qualcomm has made progress since 2015 and now support all their hardware, Broadcom has a “one man team” handling VideoCore IV/V,  and …

Vulkan 1.1 and SPIR-V 1.3 Specifications Released

The Khronos Group released Vulkan 1.0 specifications in 2015 as a successor of OpenGL ES, compatible with OpenGL ES 3.1 or greater capable GPU, and taking less CPU resources thank to – for instance – better use of multi-core processors with support for multiple command buffers that can be created in parallel. A year later, we saw Vulkan efficiency in a demo, since then most vendors have implemented a Vulkan driver for their compatible hardware across multiple operating systems, including Imagination Technologies which recently released Vulkan drivers for Linux. The Khronos Group has now released Vulkan 1.1 and the associated SPIR-V 1.3 language specifications. New functionalities in Vulkan 1.1: Protected Content – Restrict access or copying from resources used for rendering and display, secure playback and display of protected multimedia content Subgroup Operations – Efficient mechanisms that enable parallel shader invocations to communicate, wide variety of parallel computation models supported Some Vulkan 1.0 extensions are now part of Vulkan 1.1 …

Imagination Releases PowerVR CLDNN Neural Network SDK and Image for Acer Chromebook R13

Last month, Imagination Technology released their PowerVR CLDNN SDK, an AI-oriented API that leverages OpenCL support in PowerVR GX6250 GPU in order to  create network layers for constructing and running a neural network on PowerVR hardware. Eventually the SDK will support PowerVR Series2NX Neural Network Accelerator, but while waiting for the hardware, the company has provided a firmware that runs only on Mediatek MT8173 based Acer Chromebook R13. The SDK includes a demo taking a live camera feed to identify the object(s) the camera is pointing at, using known network models such as AlexNet, GoogLeNet, VGG-16, or SqueezeNet. All models are Caffe models trained against the ImageNet dataset, a benchmark function is included within the demo. Beside simply playing with the demos, you’ll be able to study the source code to check out various helper functions such as file loading, dynamic library initialisation and OpenCL context management, and read documentation such as the PowerVR CLDNN reference manual explaining all CLDNN API’s functions. If you happen to …

Imagination PowerVR Series8XT GT8540 GPU Can Drive up to Six 4K Screens, Supports Hardware Virtualization

Imagination Technologies introduces PowerVR Furian architecture last year with improved performance, power and density, as well as dual cluster PowerVR Series8XT GT8525 GPU based on the new architecture, and targeting high-end smartphones, virtual reality and automotive products. The company has now introduced a quad cluster Furian GPU called PowerVR Series8XT GT8540 that can simultaneously drive up to six 4K screens at 60fps thanks to an 80% fillrate density improvement, and supports virtualization providing separation of services and applications. The new GPU mostly targets the automotive market with some new cars now requiring multiple screen support with high resolution displays for cluster, Head-Up Display (HUD) and infotainment. Hardware virtualization is equally important for automotive application, as you’ll want to separate safety-critical code, from infotainment applications for example, so if the latter crashes, the safety-critical code can still run unhindered. Each would run on separate shaders processing unit, with up to 8 different  operating systems running in their own protected space: The …

Synaptics Introduces VideoSmart BG5CT 4K HDR Multimedia Video Processor for Set-Top Boxes

Marvell used to design Media SoCs running Android TV such as ARMADA 1500 Ultra (aka BG4CT). That part of Marvell business has very recently been sold to Synaptics, which has just unveiled VideoSmart BG5CT multimedia SoC with 4K “Advanced” HDR video processing for the set-top-box market. The BG5CT is said to be pin-to-pin compatible with BG4CT Android TV SoC, features a quad core ARM CPU @ 1.6 GHz with 15K DMIPS, an Imagination PowerVR Series8XE GE8310 GPU, and a security engine enabling secure boot, Trusted Rendering Path, full TrustZone, and video watermarking carrier-grade security making it suitable for Pay TV operators and set-top-box manufacturers. Synaptics’ Qdeo video processing technology adds 4K “Advanced HDR” – including HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and Technicolor HDR, among user video processing technology. The company did not provide that many details, but BG5CT appears to mostly add HDR support compared to BG4CT, and replace Vivante GC7000 GPU by PowerVR GE8310. Primary SDKs for BG5CT will include Android TV …

Imagination Announces PowerVR Series2NX Neural Network Accelerator (NNA), and PowerVR Series9XE and 9XM GPUs

Imagination Technologies has just made two announcements: one for their PowerVR Series2NX neural network accelerator, and the other for the new high-end GPU families: PowerVR Series9XE and 9XM. PowerVR Series2NX neural network accelerator The companies claims 2NX can deliver twice the performance and half the bandwidth of nearest competitor, and it’s the first dedicated hardware solution with flexible bit-depth support from 16-bit down to 4-bit. Key benefits of their solution (based on market data available in August 2017 from a variety of sources) include: Highest inference/mW IP cores to deliver the lowest power consumption Highest inference/mm2 IP cores to enable the most cost-effective solutions Lowest bandwidth solution with support for fully flexible bit depth for weights and data including low bandwidth modes down to 4-bit 2048 MACs/cycle in a single core, with the ability to go to higher levels with multi core The PowerVR 2NX NNA is expected to be found in smartphone and other mobile devices leveraging Tensorflow Lite …

Imagination PowerVR “Furian” Series8XT GT8525 GPU Targets High-end Smartphones, Virtual Reality and Automotive Products

Imagination Technologies has unveiled their first GPU based on PowerVR Furian architecture with Series8XT GT8525 GPU equipped with two clusters and designed for SoCs going to into products such as high-end smartphones and tablets, mid-range dedicated VR and AR devices, and mid- to high-end automotive infotainment and ADAS systems. The Furian architecture is said to allow for improvements in performance density, GPU efficiency, and system efficiency, features a new 32-wide ALU cluster design, and can be manufactured using sub-14nm (e.g. 7nm process once available). PowerVR GT8525 GPU supports compute APIs such as OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan 1.0 and OpenVX 1.1. Compared to the previous Series7XT GPU family, Series8XT GT8525 GPU delivers 80% higher fps in Trex benchmark, an extra 50% fps in GFXbench Manhattan benchmark, 50% higher fps in Antutu, doubles the fillrate throughput for GUI, and increases GFLOPs for compute applications by over 50%. GT8525 GPU is available for licensing now, and has already been delivered to lead customers. More …