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Intel to Use PowerVR Graphics in New Atom CPU?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

Next Atom to have the graphics of a super tablet.

Intel's Atom has never been a strong performer in the graphics area. That apparent weakness in the modest but power-conscious CPU led the way for Nvidia to step in with its Ion chipset.

For the next generation Atom, Cedarview, Intel is reportedly turning to PowerVR for its graphics technology. While PowerVR hasn't been in the commercial desktop graphics space for the last decade, the company has been thriving well by pushing its graphics in the ARM market. PowerVR provides graphics technologies for the smartphone and tablet processors for Apple, Samsung, among others.

According to a slide obtained by VR-Zone, it looks like PowerVR will be doing the graphics for Cedarview. Specifically, it will be the PowerVR SGX545, which is a faster version of the SGX543 that ships with the iPad 2 today.

VR-Zone reports that Intel has worked with PowerVR's SGX535 with the GMA 500/600, and that this new SGX545 chip will support DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 as well as hardware accelerated video decoding for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 part 2, VC1, WMV9 and H.264.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2011 1:02 PM
    Interesting, DX10.1 Support as well, hmmm, shall see where this pops up!
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , May 11, 2011 1:20 PM
    interesting, i wonder how it compares to ION 2.
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , May 11, 2011 1:33 PM
    While it will likely be an improvement over the current Atom/GPU offerings, it is still likely to be an underwhelming implementation. When we get the benchmarks, we can pass judgment then, but I wouldn't bet the farm on any huge increases in overall performance (there will still be an Atom in the mix after all).
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2011 1:35 PM
    This is Intel conceding defeat on graphics, by licensing somebody else's architecture. People give them way too much credit for Sandy Bridge graphics, only a few SKUs have the "good" graphics, and those aren't even that good. It equates out to the most entry-level discrete card you can buy, which still can't do much.
  • 0 Hide
    proton9 , May 11, 2011 2:19 PM
    they should've tried to integrate the HD 300 imho
  • 5 Hide
    jezzjc , May 11, 2011 2:19 PM
    sounds lame compared to the 6250/6310 in the AMD C/E series APU.
  • 3 Hide
    internetlad , May 11, 2011 2:20 PM
    concession_standIt equates out to the most entry-level discrete card you can buy, which still can't do much.


    but is still more than what 95% of PC users need.
  • 0 Hide
    proton9 , May 11, 2011 2:21 PM
    3000 lol :D 
  • 3 Hide
    belardo , May 11, 2011 2:43 PM
    Gee...

    AMD already has Fusion CPUs with DX11 that use less power than Atom...

    Want to see more AMD on the market, they have the better product in this area.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2011 2:43 PM
    internetlad: Really, so 95% of users don't need graphics capable of running the most simple of 3d applications? You know, applications might actually leverage 3d capabilities if the lowest common denominator wasn't Intel integrated. Heck, by what you're saying, people don't need things like Aero or Compiz, or GPU accelerated web browsers... Let's all buy Intel because they're 10% faster than AMD, who cares if the AMD part can enable features that came with my PC, and the Intel cannot.
  • 1 Hide
    Aravind Aarumugam , May 11, 2011 3:14 PM
    Quote:
    Gee...

    AMD already has Fusion CPUs with DX11 that use less power than Atom...

    Want to see more AMD on the market, they have the better product in this area.


    Totally agree..
  • -3 Hide
    megamanx00 , May 11, 2011 3:16 PM
    Intel doesn't want nVidia making money off them and they don't want to loose share to AMD. The Power VR may or may not be as fast as ION or the GPU in Fusion, but may end up preforming better in games if the the Atom gets a good increase in CPU performance. That's due to the wimpy CPU performance of current Fusion parts -_-
  • 2 Hide
    mchuf , May 11, 2011 4:04 PM
    megamanx00Intel doesn't want nVidia making money off them and they don't want to loose share to AMD. The Power VR may or may not be as fast as ION or the GPU in Fusion, but may end up preforming better in games if the the Atom gets a good increase in CPU performance. That's due to the wimpy CPU performance of current Fusion parts -_-



    If Intel knew how to make gpu's they wouldn't have to worry about either company.
  • 0 Hide
    Tomtompiper , May 11, 2011 4:19 PM
    I am fairly sure GMA500 was a PowerVR chipset, and that has been in Atom chipsets for years.
  • 2 Hide
    fir_ser , May 11, 2011 4:20 PM
    mchufIf Intel knew how to make gpu's they wouldn't have to worry about either company.

    Your statement is true.
  • 0 Hide
    Aravind Aarumugam , May 11, 2011 5:13 PM
    Quote:
    Intel doesn't want nVidia making money off them and they don't want to loose share to AMD. The Power VR may or may not be as fast as ION or the GPU in Fusion, but may end up preforming better in games if the the Atom gets a good increase in CPU performance. That's due to the wimpy CPU performance of current Fusion parts -_-


    I believe that would never happen. Atom can't play some of the games even an casual gamer want's to play and intel would not risk giving Atom a boost if it is given then it'll eat up the i3 and the old dual and c2d's market share which seem to be an better option.
  • 0 Hide
    cybr , May 11, 2011 5:14 PM
    Very nice.. I can see this being used in Windows based tablets very soon.
  • 1 Hide
    cybr , May 11, 2011 5:20 PM
    Aravind has a point... the econo-chip is now required to perform admirably for gaming. No longer are the econo-chips able to be a competitive processor unless it has video/gaming ability, for use in tablets, etc.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 11, 2011 6:44 PM
    megamanX00: If the CPU performance of the entry level fusion parts is "wimpy" but it still beats the fastest Atom CPU, what does that make Atom?

    PS: It won't do Intel a bit of good to clock Atom to 2.1ghz, it still won't beat the "wimpy" AMD CPU.
  • 0 Hide
    RobinPanties , May 11, 2011 7:40 PM
    cybrAravind has a point... the econo-chip is now required to perform admirably for gaming. No longer are the econo-chips able to be a competitive processor unless it has video/gaming ability, for use in tablets, etc.

    Haven't you heard? tablets are replacing netbooks... [according to some analysts; obviously that's debatable] anyway, atom chips were for netbooks. These will be still be for netbooks possibly, but more likely targeting tablets... they offer less, but command a higher price, and currently the market is doing well. They support DirectX, so they can make Windows 7 tablet makers happy, Intel already provides desktop chips for Apple, they might be looking to steal some business by snagging iPad business as well, they do afterall have a working relationship with Apple these days, and if Apple is already using chips based on PowerVR, they might find it easier and cheaper to just buy all their chips from Intel... and Aravind's point about Intel not "risking" a boost in Atom's performance because it would cut into i3's marketshare doesn't seem to add up to me because:
    1. i3's are much more powerful, designed for laptops and desktops, so, these chips aren't going to cut into i3 business unless (see #2)
    2. Tablets start to cut into laptop business significantly, which would then passively hurt i3 sales

    The only problem with that logic is, if Intel pulls it off, then they sell more Atom's which are probably cheaper to make at the expense of selling less i3's. Either way they win, which is LESS risky. If they stay away from tablets and tablets continue to boom and/or completely kill the laptop market... then Intel isn't selling i3's anyways... so, it'd be more risky for them to put all their eggs into the i3 basket...

    IMO, Intel needs a short term strategic move against ARM chips. ARM chips are small & low powered, but they are quickly adding cores and speed. However, they can't compare to the general purpose logic of Intel desktop chips... but, Intel CPU's are similtaneously decreasing in size and adding cores and speed. It's only a matter of time before Intel multi-core offerings are small and low power enough to compete in tiny form factors...
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