Apple owns a not-unsubstantial chunk of graphics chip manufacturer Imagination Technologies, which makes their newly announced mobile GPU, the PowerVR SGX545, of interest to me and you, my fellow iPhone droogies. After all, this could be the graphics chip that will pump out the polygons come June’s iPhone 4G.
And what a nice chip it is. The HD-capable PowerVR SGX545 adds full support for OpenGL 3.2 and OpenCL 1.0, and is specced to deliver real-world performance of 40 million polygons per second at 200MHz.
The iPhone is currently at a disadvantage to handsets like the Motorola Droid or the HTC Nexus One, at least as far as screen resolution is concerned. It stands to reason that Apple will attempt to improve the iPhone’s current maximum resolution of 320×480 by incorporating a HD-capable GPU. In fact, given Apple’s tendency to distinguish each new iPhone model with a short acronym, it wouldn’t be surprising if the next iPhone was christened the iPhone HD. A chip as the PowerVR SGX545 would be a perfect fit for such a phone.
In fact, outside of the obvious Apple ownership connection, there’s plenty of reason to believe that upcoming iPhone and iPod Touch hardware refreshes will contain the PowerVR SGX545, given the PowerVR SGX536 chip firing all synapses inside the black plastic brainpan of the iPhone 3Gs.
Then again, Imagination Technologies is doing a lot of boasting about the SGX545’s DirectX 10.1 support, so perhaps, horror of horrors, what we’re really looking at here is a Windows Mobile GPU.