Imagination Unveils The PowerVR 7XT Plus Series Of GPUs

Imagination introduced two new graphics core products in its PowerVR product line: the GT 7200 Plus and the GT 7400 Plus. Although these GPUs are listed as part of the 7XT series, both products feature an improved microarchitecture and updated software support, which significantly increase performance compared to Imagination's existing PowerVR 7XT GPUs.

The two new GPUs are quite similar to the GT 7200 and GT 7400 products in the 7XT product line. The GT 7200 and the GT 7200 Plus both contain 64 ALUs, while the GT 7400 and the GT 7400 Plus both have 128 ALUs. All of these GPUs also use Imagination's Rogue GPU architecture, but the 7XT Plus parts contain a few new hardware tweaks and optimizations, which boost performance and reduce power consumption compared to their predecessors.

Comparing the GPU diagram for the 7XT Plus parts against its predecessor, the most obvious change that Imagination made to the 7XT Plus line is the inclusion of a new processing element named the Image Processing Data Master. This new piece of hardware is essentially an ultra-low power 2D graphics chip that can render geometry and tiling free non-3D images.

Imagination didn't add any other new pieces to the GPU other than the Image Processing Data Master, but it also optimized the size of the GPU cache to improve efficiency. The company states that the improved cache reduces the overall bandwidth requirements of the graphics processor by about 10 percent. Imagination also doubled the memory burst size, improved the memory controller, and updated the bus interface to increase the amount of available bandwidth and reduce latency.

Another major hardware change that the 7XT Plus contains is a new integer pipeline design. Older GPUs using prior generations of Imagination's Rogue architecture were limited to INT32 formats, but the 7XT Plus GPUs add support for new INT16 and INT8 data paths. This allows developers to simplify the coding on applications that don't need the more extensive numeric range available with the INT32 data path. Imagination stated that using these alternate data paths can also increase performance by up to 400 percent.

The software features didn't change much between the previous generation of GPUs, however the company did extend OpenCL support to 2.0.

There is no word on pricing or availability at this time. Although Imagination is only announcing two new graphics processors at this time, it is likely we will see the company update other 7XT series parts with these architectural enhancements as well.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.