Imagination’s New PowerVR GPUs Enable Chip Companies and OEMs to Create the Best Possible User Experience in Cost-sensitive Devices

Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) announces a new generation of PowerVR GPUs that raises the bar on graphics and compute in cost-sensitive devices, letting SoC vendors achieve a significant boost in performance with no impact on silicon area versus previous generation GPUs.

With the new PowerVR Series9XE and Series9XM GPUs, SoC vendors and OEMs can minimize costs and power consumption while ensuring the best possible user experience for gaming and GUI in devices such as smartphones, automotive infotainment, set-top boxes and TVs.

Consumers today want exciting graphical applications and technologies in their devices, but they also often want those devices at the lowest possible cost. The new PowerVR GPUs deliver compelling graphical capabilities for even constrained price points, giving SoC developers a flexible family of GPUs that provides the right level of performance for products to stand out at any price point.

Series9XE GPUs continue and extend the fillrate/mm2 leadership of last year’s PowerVR 8XE series of GPUs to deliver the best possible real world user experience for GUI, HMI (human machine interface) and casual gaming on cost-efficient products including DTVs, set-top boxes, streaming sticks/dongles, automotive infotainment and cluster electronics, and entry-level mobile and tablet devices. The range has been extended with a new eight pixel/clock (8PPC) core which is ideal for GUI focused applications requiring support for 4K60.

Series9XM GPUs, with increased compute density (GFLOPS/mm2), represent the industry’s best graphics cores for compute and gaming on devices such as premium gaming set-top boxes, mid-range smartphones and tablets, and automotive infotainment systems, with the ability to scale to 4K and beyond.

Both new families also benefit from improvements in the memory subsystem, reducing bandwidth by as much as 25% over previous generations to ensure the increased processing power can be fully exploited. Other new features common to the 9XE and 9XM families include a new MMU, allowing a greater address range and standard support for 10-bit YUV across the range, without impacting area.

Chris Longstaff, senior director of product and technology marketing, PowerVR, at Imagination says: “PowerVR has broken the constraints of typical ‘low cost’ GPUs to deliver a level of flexibility unprecedented in this category. Our previous XE series of GPUs already hit the sweet spot for power, performance and area in cost-sensitive applications, driving a number of customers to move to PowerVR from competitor GPUs. The new GPUs will continue that trend, as we continue to push performance density and flexibility to new levels. 9XE and 9XM GPUs represent the industry’s only logical choice for companies looking to deliver the best possible user experience at the lowest cost for their specific mix of requirements.”

Jon Peddie, president, JPR Research, says: “With its new range of PowerVR GPUs, Imagination is offering what we think is the widest range of operating points to balance fillrate, GFLOPS, power and cost for dozens of specific applications. The continued focus on the performance and fillrate efficiency will enable this year’s devices to offer a meaningful boost in performance like never before, the consumers are going to be thrilled.”

PowerVR Series9XE and Series9XM GPUs – a wide range of flexible configurations

9XE and 9XM GPUs represent the continuing evolution of the PowerVR Rogue architecture to provide the smallest silicon footprint and power profile. Imagination is initially rolling out several IP cores in each family, offering multiple ALU and texture performance balance points, coupled to single and multi-cluster designs. The highly scalable architecture enables easy, efficient generation of new IP cores to meet specific customer and market demands, with increases in area met by corresponding increases in fillrate and/or compute performance.

  • The best performance/mm2

o 9XE GPUs provide improved gaming performance while maintaining the same fillrate density compared to the previous generation

o 9XM GPUs use several new and enhanced architectural elements to achieve up to 70% better performance density than the competition*, and up to 50% better than the previous 8XEP generation

  • Bandwidth savings of up to 25% over the previous generation GPUs through architectural enhancements including parameter compression and tile grouping
  • Memory system improvements: 36-bit addressing for improved system integration, improved burst sizes for efficient memory accesses, and enhanced compression capabilities
  • Extremely low power consumption with Imagination’s proven Tile Based Deferred Rendering (TBDR) technology
  • Support for hardware virtualization and Imagination’s OmniShield™ multi-domain security, enabling customers to build systems in which applications and operating systems can run independently and reliably on the same platform
  • Support for Khronos graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 3.2, and Vulkan 1.0; and advanced compute and vision APIs such as RenderScript, OpenVX™ 1.1 and OpenCL® 1.2 EP**
  • Optional support for PVRIC3, the latest PowerVR lossless image compression technology for optimal system integration efficiency.

The new GPUs are being licensed and evaluated by multiple customers for TVs, set-top boxes, mid-range mobile devices, ultra-low cost phones/tablets, and automotive applications.

Ideal for use with the new PowerVR 2NX Neural Network Accelerator (NNA)

Imagination’s new PowerVR Series2NX neural network accelerator (NNA) lets companies building SoCs for mobile, surveillance, automotive and consumer systems achieve high-performance computation of neural networks at very low power consumption in minimal silicon area. In devices such as mobile phones where a GPU is mandated, companies can use a 9XE/9XM GPU to manage the classic vision processing algorithms and offload the neural net processing to the PowerVR 2NX NNA. Because of the performance density of the PowerVR NNA and the GPUs, companies can implement this combination in the same silicon footprint as a competing standalone GPU.

Software and tools support

Imagination provides developers with free access to the cross-platform PowerVR SDK, designed to support all aspects of 3D graphics application development; as well as tools and utilities that ease development of 3D graphics and GPU compute applications. Developers can join the PowerVR Insider community, download the SDK for free and interact through developer forums at

Physical Design Optimization Kits (DOKs) will be available, offering customers the flexibility to optimize for power, performance and area (PPA). Imagination DOKs are comprised of optimized reference design flows, tuned libraries from partners, characterization data and documentation.


Series9XE GPU IP cores are available for licensing now in configurations including:

  • 1 PPC with 16 F32 FLOPS/clock(GE9000)
  • 2 PPC with 16 F32 FLOPS/clock (GE9100)
  • 4 PPC with 32 F32 FLOPS/clock (GE9210)
  • 8 PPC with 64 F32 FLOPS/clock (GE9420)

Series9XM GPU IP cores are available for licensing now in configurations including:

  • 4 PPC with 64 FP32 FLOPS/clock (GM9220)
  • 4 PPC with 128 FP32 FLOPS/clock (GM9240)
  • 8 PPC with 128 FP32 FLOPS/clock (GM9240)

Contact [email protected] for more information.

About PowerVR GPUs

The PowerVR graphics processor (GPU) family leads the market in technological capability, roadmap breadth and ecosystem, setting the benchmark for mobile and embedded GPUs. PowerVR is the leading graphics technology because it is based on a sophisticated and unique architecture. PowerVR’s efficiency through tile-based deferred rendering (TBDR) ensures the lowest possible bandwidth usage and the lowest amount of processing cycles per task, and all of this leads to high performance efficiency and the lowest power consumption per frame, outperforming other solutions. OEMs using chips with PowerVR inside can translate this advantage into products that provide the most amazing visual experiences with the longest possible battery life.

* Based on market data available in August 2017 from a variety of sources.

** Based on published Khronos specifications, the 9XE and 9XM GPUs are expected to pass the Khronos Conformance Testing Process. Current conformance status can be found at