Assertive Display tech demoed on iPad at IFA- intelligently adjusts pixels in realtime to make content viewable in sunlight

As part the International keynote presentations at IFA this year, AMD exec and president of the HSA foundation, Phil Rogers, took the stage to give an update on the current state of the not-for-profit alliance. For those of you unfamiliar with the foundation, HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture), is described as “a heterogeneous compute ecosystem, rooted in industry standards, for combining scalar processing on the CPU with parallel processing on the GPU while enabling high bandwidth access to memory and high application performance at low power consumption.”

While the addition of Samsung, among other partners Texas Instruments, ARM, AMD, and Imagination Technologies, was the big news of the day for most, a short demo by partner Apical was what really caught our attention.

Apical’s “Assertive Display” technology is already present in a few devices, such as Sharp’s AQUOS PHONE SH-01D, but during its demo for the HSA keynote, Apical showed off the tech working on an iPad…

Read more

Imagination details PowerVR Series6 design that could let iPad 3 outshine console graphics

Imagination Technologies, a British-based maker of a mobile graphics and microprocessor chip technology, announced last June its new mobile graphics architecture code-named Rogue. Today, the company shed more light on the first two PowerVR Series6 designs, the G6400 and G6200. According to a press release issued today, we can expect 20 times the performance of current-generation hardware with five times greater efficiency.

The G6400 and G6200 have two and four compute clusters, respectively, with computing performance “exceeding 100 gigaFLOPS” and “reaching the teraFLOPS range.” Base features supported by all members of the Series6 family include OpenGL ES ‘Halti,’ OpenGL 3.x/4.x, OpenCL 1.x – all of which are supported and widely used by Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. They also support Microsoft’s DirectX10 and some chips are said to be WHQL DirectX11.1-compliant.

Eight chip makers signed up for the new designs so far, including ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, MediaTek, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Renesas Electronics. Whether Apple is amongst the two unnamed licensees is anyone’s guess, but one could assume that Apple’s custom-built mobile chips would continue using Imagination’s efficient PowerVR architecture.

Other advanced features supported by the Rogue architecture include:

Read more

Apple patent details advanced 3D object recognition and verification technology

PatentlyApple point us to a few recently obtained Apple patents published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Perhaps the most interesting of all is a patent covering 3D object recognition technology that could potentially be implemented in future iPads. While unsophisticated facial recognition tech is already present in consumer mobile devices, Apple’s patent details a method of automated biometric identification to identify or verify an object or face based on a 3D representation compiled by analyzing the curves, points, contours, etc., of a 2D projection. In other words, a three-dimensional “statistical shape model” could be pulled from a 2D image, allowing more accurate detection and verification of 3D objects, such as a face or objects from “airport security X-ray images”, for example. The report explains:

The recovered 3D shape is the most probable shape consistent with the 2D projections, i.e. the images. The statistical model needs a bank of data, denoted training data, where the 3D positions of the image features are known, in order to learn the parameters of the model. Such data sampling could be done using e.g. binocular or multi-view stereo or range scanners. Once the model parameters are learned, the 3D shape can be computed using one or several images. The 3D shape is then used, by means of the presented invention together with the 2D image data, to identify or verify the object as a particular instance of the object class, e.g. the face belonging to a certain individual. A positive (or negative) identification initiate proper action by means of the presented innovation.

It’s unclear when exactly Apple obtained the patent, which lists Professor Kahl Fredrik as the main inventor and dates back to 2005. However, PatentlyApple points out Jan Eric Solem, who owned Polar Rose before they were acquired by Apple in 2010, is also listed as an inventor. Polar Rose technology is currently being used in facial recognition and detection features in the iOS 5 Camera app. The report speculates the next-gen PowerVR GPU from Imagination Technologies will play a role in providing Apple with the juice necessary for advanced 3D rendering, despite the company not yet being confirmed as a licensee:
Read more

Samsung Galaxy S II clocks the fastest GPU in any current smartphone, but it likely won’t be a match for iPhone 4S


Image courtesy of Anandtech

Anandtech has published some interesting findings based on their extensive Samsung Galaxy S II review. It’s the first smartphone to use the graphics processing unit based on the Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. In fact, Samsung has engineered and manufactured its own system-on-a-chip solution for the handset.

They call it the Exynos 4210 and it combines a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core and the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU sporting four cores. The resulting performance, says Anandtech, is comparable to Texas Instruments OMAP 4 chip that incorporates Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX540 GPU core. However, the quad-core 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 probably won’t hold a candle to iPhone 4S, which will likely carry the same dual-core processor-GPU combo as the iPad 2′s 1GHz A5 chip:

Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above. Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.

Interestingly, and per the GL Benchmark included below, the Exynos 4210 is more than twice as fast compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chip and nearly four times speedier than iPhone 4′s 800 MHz A4 chip that sports the PowerVT SGX535 GPU core. However, the 4210 falls short in the triangle throughput department, a big disadvantage over the iPad 2′s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip.

Triangle throughput is important in graphics-intensive games and will become key in “future games that may scale along that vector rather than simply increasing pixel shader complexity”. The video of Anandtech’s Samsung Galaxy S II review is right after the break.

Cross-posted on 9to5Google.com.

Read more