Imagination Technologies announces PowerVR Series 6

British-based fabless IC designer, Imagination Technologies, has announced its plans to release a next generation of mobile GPUs that will knock the proverbial socks off the competition, they happen to have called it ‘Rogue’.

Appropriately disclosed at CES 2012, considering it’s been slanted towards slates this year, the PowerVR Series 6 ‘Rogue’ will come in two flavours, the G6200 and G6400, which contain 2- and 4- compute clusters respectively, and support all the major graphics APIs such as OpenGL ES, OpenGL (3.x/4.x), Direct X (10.1/11.1).

Imagination Technologies is promising a 20-fold performance gain over its predecessor and some serious power savings, but unfortunately that’s all it is claiming for now.

Of its partners, ST Microelectronics, a long-standing licensee of PowerVR’s tech since Series 3, has already announced it will be using Series 6 in their Nova SoCs. Rival chip designer, ARM, has recently had its Mali 400 shrunk to a new 28nm process technology through its partner Socle Technology, while Nvidia is working with TSMC on its own 28nm designs, it is highly likely that PowerVR Series 6 will follow suit with its foundry partners.

Things are looking even better of late for Imagination, as one of their main competitors, Qualcomm with its Adreno graphics, has surrendered and licensed PowerVR for its forthcoming SoCs. Of the major mobile GPU makers around today, ARM and Nvidia seem to be the only ones interested in keeping up the competition.

Imagination Technologies made a name for itself by providing graphics processing muscle for the likes of Nintendo, and managed to escape the reaper’s blade by reinventing its IP as a mobile graphics offering, scoring huge licensing deals with Sony (PSP, Vita), Intel (Atom, Medfield) and Apple (iPhone 4, 4S and iPad 2).

Devices based on the Series 6 aren’t expected until late 2012 if not beginning of 2013, so hold onto your breeches.