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PowerVR is a division of Imagination Technologies (formerly VideoLogic) that develops hardware and software for 2D and 3D rendering, and for video encoding, decoding, and associated image processing. In the late 1990s they competed heavily with 3dfx in the 3D accelerator market for desktop PCs and game consoles, but both companies were forced from this market by the rise of OpenGL, Direct3D and the ATI and Nvidia cards that better supported these technologies. Since then, the PowerVR technology has been aimed primarily at the low-power market and are now found inside many mobile devices such as palmtops and cellphones. PowerVR accelerators are not manufactured by PowerVR, but instead their designs are licensed to other companies, such as NEC, Intel, Freescale, TI, and Samsung.

Contents

Implementations

Dreamcast

The second generation PowerVR2 ("PowerVR Series 2", chip codename "CLX2") chip found a market in the Dreamcast console between 1998 and 2001. As part of an internal competition at Sega to design the successor to the Saturn, the PowerVR2 was licensed to NEC and was chosen ahead of a rival design based on the 3dfx Voodoo 2. Thanks to the performance of the PowerVR2, several Dreamcast games such as Quake III Arena could rival their PC counterparts in quality and performance. However, the success of the Dreamcast meant that the PC variant, sold as Neon 250, appeared a year late to the market and was at that time mid-range at best.

KYRO and KYRO II

Kyro II.

In 2001, STMicroelectronics adopted the third generation PowerVR3 for their STG4000 KYRO and STG 4500 KYRO II (displayed) chips. The STM PowerVR3 KYRO II, released in 2001, was able to rival the more expensive ATI Radeon DDR and NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS in graphic benchmarks of the time, despite not having hardware Transform and lighting (T&L). Unfortunately, as games were increasingly optimized for hardware T&L, the KYRO II lost its performance advantage. Today it is no longer supported by new released games.

STM's STG5000 chip was based upon the PowerVR4, which did include hardware T&L but it never came to commercial fruition.

Technology

The PowerVR chipset uses a unique approach to rendering a 3D scene, known as tile-based deferred rendering (often abbreviated as TBDR). As the polygon generating program feeds triangles to the PowerVR (driver) it stores them in memory in a triangle strip or an indexed format. Unlike other architectures, polygon rendering is (usually) not performed until all polygon information has been collated for the current frame—hence rendering is deferred.

In order to render, the display is split into rectangular sections in a grid pattern. Each section is known as a tile. Associated with each tile is a list of the triangles that visibly overlap that tile. Each tile is rendered in turn to produce the final image.

Tiles are rendered using a process similar to ray-casting. Rays are cast onto the triangles associated with the tile and a pixel is rendered from the triangle closest to the camera. The PowerVR hardware typically calculates the depths associated with each polygon for one tile row in 1 cycle.

This method has the advantage that, unlike a more traditional z-buffered rendering pipeline, no calculations need to be made to determine what a polygon looks like in an area where it is obscured by other geometry. It also allows for correct rendering of partially transparent polygons, independent of the order in which they are processed by the polygon producing application. (This capability was only implemented in Series 2 and one MBX variant. It is generally not included for lack of API support and cost reasons.) More importantly, as the rendering is limited to one tile at a time, the whole tile can be in fast onchip memory, which is flushed to video memory before processing the next tile. Under normal circumstances, each tile is visited just once per frame.

PowerVR is not the only pioneer of tile based deferred rendering, but the only one to successfully bring a TBDR solution to market. Microsoft also conceptualised the idea with their abandoned Talisman project. Gigapixel, a company that developed IP for tile-based deferred 3D graphics, was purchased by 3dfx, who were subsequently purchased by Nvidia. Nvidia currently has no official plans to pursue tile-based rendering.

Intel uses a similar concept in their integrated graphics solutions. However, their method, coined zone rendering, does not perform full hidden surface removal (HSR) and deferred texturing, therefore wasting fillrate and texture bandwidth on pixels that are not visible in the final image.

Recent advances in hierarchical Z-buffering have effectively incorporated ideas previously only used in deferred rendering, including the idea of being able to split a scene into tiles and of potentially being able to accept or reject tile sized pieces of polygon.

See Deferred shading for more details about how recent techniques make use of new shader models to implement deferred rendering.

PowerVR chipsets

Places where PowerVR technology and its various iterations have been used:

Series 1 (NEC)

VideoLogic Apocalypse 3Dx (NEC PowerVR PCX2 chip)
Product Type Chip Name Clock Rate
Compaq 3D card Supplied with some Presario systems "Midas 3" chip set 66 MHz
Apocalypse 3d/3dx 3D PC add-in board PCX-1 and PCX-2 60 and 66 MHz
Matrox m3D 3D PC add-in board PCX-2 66 MHz

Series 2 (NEC)

Product Type Chip Name Clock Rate
Dreamcast Console CLX2 100 MHz
Neon250 2D/3D PC Add-in Board PowerVR 250PC 125 MHz
Sega NAOMI Arcade Machine CLX2 100 MHz
Sega NAOMI2 Arcade Machine 2 CLX2s + ELAN (Transform and Lighting processor) 100 MHz

Series 3 (STMicro)

Product Type Chip Name Clock Rate
KYRO 2D/3D PC add-in board STG4000 115 MHz
KYRO II 2D/3D PC add-in board STG4500 175 MHz
KYRO IISE 2D/3D PC add-in board STG4800 200 MHz

VGX

PowerVR VGX150

MBX

With KYRO 3 (2D/3D AIB) products shelved due to STMicro closing its graphics division, PowerVR concentrated on the portable market with its next design, the low power PowerVR MBX. It, and its SGX successors, have become the de facto standards for mobile 3D, having been licensed by seven of the top ten semiconductor manufacturers including Intel, Texas Instruments, Samsung, NEC, NXP Semiconductors, Freescale, Renesas and Sunplus, and are in use in many high-end cellphones including the iPhone, Nokia N900, Nokia N95, Sony Ericsson P1 and Motorola RIZR Z8.

There are two variants: MBX and MBX Lite. Both have the same feature set. MBX is optimized for speed and MBX Lite is optimized for low power consumption. A MBX can be paired up with an FPU, Lite FPU, VGP Lite and VGP.

Freescale i.MX31MBX Lite + FPU (VFP11) + ARM1136

  • DAVE Embedded Systems Qong (SOM)
  • ELSA PAL Mini Book e-A533-L
  • Garz & Fricke Adelaide
  • TQ Components TQMa31
  • iCEphone

Freescale i.MX31CMBX Lite + FPU (VFP11) + ARM1136

  • Cogent CSB733 (SOM)
  • DAVE Embedded Systems Qong (SOM)

Freescale MPC5121eMBX Lite + VGP Lite + PowerPC e300

  • CherryPal C114
  • DAVE Embedded Systems Aria (SOM)
  • LimePC range (UMPC, HandheldPC, PalmPC, LimePC HDTV set)
  • PhaedruS SystemS CSB781
  • GDA Technologies Bali Reference Board

Intel CE 2110MBX Lite + XScale

  • ASUS set-top boxes
  • Chunghwa Telecom Multimedia on Demand set-top boxes
  • Digeo Moxi Multi-Room HD Digital Media Recorder
  • Digeo Moxi Mate
  • Digital Video Networks set-top boxes
  • OKI Next Generation Hybrid STB
  • ZTE set-top boxes

Marvell 2700G - discontinued - (was Intel 2700G)MBX Lite (as a companion to the Marvell (was Intel) XScale processor PXA27x)

NXP Nexperia PNX4008MBX Lite + FPU + ARM926

NXP Nexperia PNX4009MBX Lite + FPU + ARM926

  • Sony Ericsson G700 and G700c
  • Sony Ericsson G700 Business Edition
  • Sony Ericsson G900
  • Sony Ericsson P200

Renesas SH3707MBX + VGP + FPU + SH-4

Renesas SH-Mobile3 (SH73180), Renesas SH-Mobile3+ (SH73182), Renesas SH-Mobile3A (SH73230), Renesas SH-Mobile3A+ (SH73450)MBX Lite + VGP Lite + SH-X(SH4AL-DSP)

  • Fujitsu F702iD
  • Fujitsu F901iC
  • Fujitsu F902i
  • Fujitsu F902iS
  • Helio Hero
  • Mitsubishi D702i
  • Mitsubishi D851iWM (MUSIC PORTER X)
  • Mitsubishi D901i
  • Mitsubishi D901iS
  • Mitsubishi D902i
  • Mitsubishi D902iS
  • Motorola MS550
  • Pantech PN-8300
  • SK Teletech (SKY) IM-8300

Renesas SH-Mobile G1MBX Lite + VGP Lite + SH-X2(SH4AL-DSP)

  • Fujitsu F704i
  • Fujitsu Raku-Raku PHONE III (F882iES)
  • Fujitsu Raku-Raku PHONE Basic (F883i)
  • Fujitsu Raku-Raku PHONE IV (F883iES)
  • Fujitsu F903i
  • Fujitsu F903iX HIGH-SPEED
  • Fujitsu F904i
  • Mitsubishi D704i
  • Mitsubishi D903i
  • Mitsubishi D903iTV
  • Mitsubishi D904i

Renesas SH-Mobile G2MBX Lite + VGP Lite + SH-X2(SH4AL-DSP)

  • Fujitsu F905i
  • Mitsubishi D905i
  • Sharp SH905i
  • Sony Ericsson SO905i
  • Sony Ericsson SO905iCS
  • Fujitsu F906i
  • Fujitsu F706i
  • Sharp SH906i
  • Sharp SH906iTV
  • Sharp SH706i
  • Sharp SH706ie
  • Sharp SH706iw
  • Sony Ericsson SO906i
  • Sony Ericsson SO706i

Renesas SH-Navi1 (SH7770)MBX + VGP + FPU + SH-X(SH-4A), Renesas unidentifiedMBX + SuperH

  • Alpine Car Information Systems
  • Clarion MAX960HD
  • Clarion NAX963HD
  • Clarion NAX970HD
  • Clarion NAX973HD and MAX973HD
  • Clarion MAX9700DT
  • Clarion MAX9750DT
  • Mitsubishi HDD Navi H9000
  • Mitsubishi HDD Navi H9700
  • Pioneer Carrozzeria HDD CyberNavi AVIC-VH009
  • Pioneer Carrozzeria HDD CyberNavi AVIC-ZH900MD

Renesas SH-Navi2G (SH7775)MBX + VGP + FPU + SH-X2(SH-4A)

Samsung S3C2460MBX Lite + FPU + ARM926

Samsung S5L8900MBX Lite + VGP Lite + FPU (VFP11) + ARM1176

SiRF SiRFprimaMBX Lite + VGP Lite + MVED1 + FPU + ARM11

  • Dmedia G400 WiMAX MID
  • CMMB K704
  • CMMB T700
  • ACCO MID Q7
  • ACCO P439
  • FineDrive iQ500
  • RMVB C7
  • Vanhe T700
  • WayteQ X610, X620, N800, N810, X810, X820
  • YFI 80T-1

Sunplus unidentifiedMBX

Texas Instruments OMAP 2420MBX + VGP + FPU (VFP11) + ARM1136

  • Motorola MOTO Q 9h
  • Motorola MOTO Q music 9m
  • Motorola MOTO Q PRO
  • Motorola MOTORIZR Z8
  • Motorola MOTORIZR Z10
  • NEC N902i
  • NEC N902iS
  • NEC N902iX HIGH-SPEED
  • Nokia E90 Communicator
  • Nokia N82
  • Nokia N93
  • Nokia N93i
  • Nokia N95 (Classic, US, SoftBank X02NK Japanese, and 8 GB versions) ( N95 RM-159 / 245 = TI OMAP DM290Z WV C-68A0KYW EI )
  • Nokia N800
  • Nokia N810
  • Nokia N810 Wimax edition
  • Panasonic P702iD
  • Panasonic P702iS
  • Panasonic P902i
  • Panasonic P902iS
  • Sharp SH702iD
  • Sharp SH702iS
  • Sharp SH902i
  • Sharp SH902iS
  • Sharp DOLCE SL (SH902iSL)
  • Sony Ericsson SO902i
  • Sony Ericsson SO902iWP+

Texas Instruments OMAP2430MBX Lite + VGP Lite + FPU + ARM1136

  • ASUS M536
  • Fujitsu F1100
  • NEC N903i
  • NEC N904i
  • NEC N905i
  • NEC N905iμ
  • Palm Treo 800w
  • Panasonic P903i
  • Panasonic P903iTV
  • Panasonic P903iX HIGH-SPEED
  • Samsung SGH-G810
  • Samsung SGH-i550
  • Samsung SGH-i560
  • Samsung innov8 (SGH-i8510)
  • Samsung GT-i7110
  • Sharp SH704i
  • Sharp SH903i
  • Sharp SH904i
  • Sony Ericsson SO704i
  • Sony Ericsson SO903i

Texas Instruments OMAP2530MBX Lite + VGP Lite + FPU + ARM1176

  • Thinkware iNAVI K2
  • Digital Cube iStation T5
  • APSI LM480

PowerVR Video Cores(MVED/VXD)

Marvell PXA310/312MVED

  • Airis T483 / T482L
  • Blackberry Bold 9700
  • Geeks'Phone ONE
  • General Mobile DSTL1
  • Gigabyte GSmart MS808
  • HP iPaq 11x/21x
  • HKC Prado
  • HKC Mopad 8/E
  • HKC G920, G908
  • i-MATE 810F (Hummer)
  • Motorola FR68 and FR6000
  • NIM1000
  • NDrive S400
  • Pharos 565
  • Qigi AK007C, i6-Goal, i6-Win, i6C, U8/U8P
  • RoverPC Pro G7, X7, evo V7
  • Samsung i780, i900 Omnia, i907 Epix, i908 Omnia, i910 Omnia, SCH-M490 T*OMNIA, SCH-M495 T*OMNIA
  • Samsung SPH-M4800 Ultra Messaging II
  • SoftBank 930SC Omnia
  • WayteQ X520 , X-Phone

SI Electronics unidentifiedVXD380

NEC EMMA 3TLVXD380

Series5 (SGX)

  • PowerVR SGX (pixel, vertex, and geometry shader hardware)
    • next generation fully programmable universal scalable shader architecture
    • exceeding requirements of OpenGL 2.0 and up to DirectX 10.1 Shader Model 4.1
    • licensed to Apple Inc, Sony, Intel, Nokia, Renesas, NEC, TI, MediaTek, NXP Semiconductors, Samsung, Sigma Designs, SigmaTel, SiRF and others
    • size from 2.6mm 2to 12.5mm 2(@65nm)
    • 6 variants announced (estimated realistic performance listed):
      • SGX520 (7 MPolys/s, 250Mpx/s@200MHz) for the handheld mobile market
      • SGX530 (14 MPolys/s, 500Mpx/s@200MHz)for the handheld mobile market
      • SGX531
      • SGX535 (28 MPolys/s, 500Mpx/s@200MHz, Max Memory Band (GB/s) 4.2GB/s)for handheld high end mobile, portable, MID, UMPC, consumer, and automotive devices (Intel calls it the GMA 500)
      • SGX540 (twice performance of SGX530)
      • SGX545 (35 MPolys/s, 1000Mpx/s@200MHz)

Products that include the SGX:

Apple unidentifiedSGX535 + VXD (Samsung manufactured)

Intel CE 3100SGX535(Intel GMA500) + Pentium M

  • Conceptronic YUIXX
  • Gigabyte GN-MD300-RH
  • Metrological's Mediaconnect TV
  • Routon H3
  • Samsung STB-HDDVR
  • Toshiba Connected TVs
  • Toshiba Network Player
  • TCL IPTV
  • Fujitsu

Intel CE4100SGX535 + Atom-based CPU

  • Orange STB

Intel CE4130SGX535 + Atom-based CPU

Intel CE4150SGX535 + Atom-based CPU

Intel System Controller Hub US15/W/LSGX535(Intel GMA500) + VXD370

  • Abit (USI) MID-100
  • Abit (USI) MID-150, MID-200
  • Acer Aspire One AO751h
  • Advantech MICA-101
  • Aigo MID P8860, P8880, P8888
  • Arbor Gladius G0710
  • Archos 9
  • ASUS EeePC T91
  • ASUS EeePC S121, EeePC 1101HGO
  • ASUS R50A, R70A
  • Averatec (TriGem) MID
  • BenQ Aries2
  • Bandai Namco Rilakkuma
  • BenQ S6
  • Clarion MiND
  • CLEVO TN70M, TN71M, T89xM
  • Colmek Stinger
  • Compal jAX10
  • CompuLab Fit-PC2
  • Cowon W2
  • Dell Inspiron Mini 12, Inspiron Mini 10, Inspiron Mini 1010 Tiger
  • Digifriends WiMAX MID
  • DT Research DT312
  • DUX HFBX-3800
  • EB mobile internet device
  • FMV-BIBLO LOOX U/C40, LOOX U/C30
  • Fujitsu UMPC U2010
  • Fujitsu LifeBook U2020
  • Fujitsu LifeBook U820, UH900
  • Fujitsu FMV-BIBLO LOOX U
  • Gigabyte M528
  • Hanbit Pepper Pad 3
  • Kohjinsha/Inventec S32, SC3
  • Kohjinsha W130, SX3KP06MS, SC3KX06A
  • Kohjinsha/Inventec X5
  • Kohjinsha PM series
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U8
  • LG XNote B831, LGX30
  • MaxID BHC-100, iDLMax
  • mis MP084T-001G
  • MSI Wind U115, U110
  • MSI X-Slim 320
  • NEC VersaPro UltraLite type VS
  • NEXCOM MRC 2100, MTC 2100, MTC 2100-MD
  • Nokia Booklet 3G
  • NOVA SideArm2 SA2I
  • OMRON Panel PC
  • Onkyo NX707
  • OQO Model 2+
  • Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1
  • Panasonic CF-H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant
  • Portwell Japan UMPC-2711
  • Quanta mobile internet device
  • Sony Vaio P series, Vaio X series
  • TCS-003-01595 - Intel ATOM Rugged Tablet PC 8.4"
  • Terralogic Toughnote DB06-I Intel Atom Industrial Grade Rugged UMPC
  • Terralogic Toughnote DB06-M Intel Atom Military Grade Rugged UMPC
  • Toshiba mobile internet device
  • Trigem LLUON Mobbit PS400
  • UMID Clamshell
  • Viliv (YuKyung) S5, S7, X70
  • WiBrain i1, M1
  • WILLCOM D4 (Sharp WS016SH)
  • Various system boards and computer on modules including:
    • Adlink Express-MLC
    • Advantech SOM-5775
    • AXIOMTEK PICO820
    • Congatech conga-CA
    • Congatech-IVI Starterkit
    • CoreExpress-ECO
    • Eurotech Catalyst, Isis, Proteus
    • IBASE IB822
    • Inhand FireFly
    • Kontron nanoETXexpress-SP, microETXexpress-SP, KTUS15/miTX
    • LiPPERT CoreExpress-ECO COM
    • MEN Micro XM1
    • MSI MS-9A06
    • MSC Q7-US15W
    • Portwell PEB-2736, PCS-8230, NANO-8044, WEBS-2120 (Nano-ITX), WEBS-1310/1320 (ECX)
    • PROTEUS COM EXPRESS
    • RadiSys Procelerant Z500, Procelerant CE5XL, Procelerant CE5XT
    • Woodpecker Z5xx Micro COM Express
    • Xilinx XA Spartan-3E FPGA

Intel LincroftSGX + Atom-based CPU

  • LG GW990
  • OpenPeak OpenTablet 7
  • Aave Mobile

NEC EMMA Mobile/EV2SGX530 + Cortex-A9 MPCore (Dual)

NEC NaviEngine EC-4270, EC-4260SGX535 + ARM11 MPCore (Quad)

  • Alpine Car Information Systems (Spring 2010)

NEC UnidentifiedSGX + PowerVR video & display

NEC Medity M2SGX + PowerVR video & display

  • NEC N-01A, N-02A, N-03A, N-04A, N-05A, N-06A, NEC N-07A, NEC N-08A, N-09A

NXP PNX847x/8x/9xSGX531

Renesas SH-Mobile G3SGX530 + SH-4

  • Fujitsu F-01A , F-02A, F-03A, F-04A, F-08A, F-09A
  • Sharp SH-01A, SH-02A, SH-03A, SH-05A, SH-06A, SH-07A, SH-06A NERV

Renesas SH-Mobile G4 (in development)SGX540 + SH-4

  • Fujitsu (in development)
  • Sharp (in development)

Renesas SH-Mobile APE4 (R8A73720)SGX540 + Cortex-A8

Renesas SH-Navi3 (SH7776)SGX530 + SH-X3(SH-4A (Dual))

Samsung S5PC110SGX540 + Cortex-A8

  • Samsung GT-i9000
  • Samsung S8500 Wave
  • Meizu M9

Samsung S5PV210SGX540 + Cortex-A8


Texas Instruments OMAP3420SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments OMAP3430SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments OMAP3440SGX530 + Cortex-A8

  • ARCHOS Android IMT
  • ECS T800 800Mhz

Texas Instruments OMAP3450SGX530 + Cortex-A8

  • ECS T800 1Ghz

Texas Instruments OMAP3515SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments AM3517SGX530 + Cortex-A8

  • DAVE Embedded Systems Lizard (SOM)

Texas Instruments OMAP3530SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments OMAP3620SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments OMAP3621SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments OMAP3630SGX530 + Cortex-A8

  • Synaptics Fuse
  • Sony Ericsson U5i "Vivaz"
  • Sony Ericsson U8i "Vivaz pro"

Texas Instruments OMAP3640SGX530 + Cortex-A8

Texas Instruments OMAP4430SGX540 + Cortex-A9 MPCore (dual)

Texas Instruments OMAP4440SGX540 + Cortex-A9 MPCore (dual)

Series5XT (SGXMP)

  • PowerVR SGXMP variants available as single and multi-core IP
    • Performance scales linearly with number of cores and clock speed
    • Available in single to 16 core variants
      • SGX543 (single core) 35M poly/s @200 MHz
      • SGX543MP4 (four cores) 133M poly/s, fill rates in excess of 4Gpixels/sec @200 MHz

Rumoured PlayStation Portable2

      • SGX543MP8 (eight cores) 532M poly/s, fill rates in excess of 16Gpixels/sec @400 MHz

External links


PowerVR is a division of Imagination Technologies (formerly VideoLogic) that develops hardware and software for 2D and 3D rendering, and for video encoding, decoding, and associated image processing. In the late 1990s they competed heavily with 3dfx in the 3D accelerator market for desktop PCs and game consoles, but both companies were forced from this market by the rise of OpenGL, Direct3D and the ATI and Nvidia cards that better supported these technologies. Since then, the PowerVR technology has been aimed primarily at the low-power market and are now found inside many mobile devices such as palmtops and cellphones. PowerVR accelerators are not manufactured by PowerVR, but instead their designs are licensed to other companies, such as NEC, Intel, Freescale, TI, and Samsung.

Contents

Technology

The PowerVR chipset uses a method of 3D rendering known as tile-based deferred rendering (often abbreviated as TBDR). As the polygon generating program feeds triangles to the PowerVR (driver) it stores them in memory in a triangle strip or an indexed format. Unlike other architectures, polygon rendering is (usually) not performed until all polygon information has been collated for the current frame—hence rendering is deferred.

In order to render, the display is split into rectangular sections in a grid pattern. Each section is known as a tile. Associated with each tile is a list of the triangles that visibly overlap that tile. Each tile is rendered in turn to produce the final image.

Tiles are rendered using a process similar to ray-casting. Rays are cast onto the triangles associated with the tile and a pixel is rendered from the triangle closest to the camera. The PowerVR hardware typically calculates the depths associated with each polygon for one tile row in 1 cycle.

This method has the advantage that, unlike a more traditional z-buffered rendering pipeline, no calculations need to be made to determine what a polygon looks like in an area where it is obscured by other geometry. It also allows for correct rendering of partially transparent polygons, independent of the order in which they are processed by the polygon producing application. (This capability was only implemented in Series 2 and one MBX variant. It is generally not included for lack of API support and cost reasons.) More importantly, as the rendering is limited to one tile at a time, the whole tile can be in fast onchip memory, which is flushed to video memory before processing the next tile. Under normal circumstances, each tile is visited just once per frame.

PowerVR is not the only pioneer of tile based deferred rendering, but the only one to successfully bring a TBDR solution to market. Microsoft also conceptualised the idea with their abandoned Talisman project. Gigapixel, a company that developed IP for tile-based deferred 3D graphics, was purchased by 3dfx, who were subsequently purchased by Nvidia. Nvidia currently has no official plans to pursue tile-based rendering.

Intel uses a similar concept in their integrated graphics solutions. However, their method, coined zone rendering, does not perform full hidden surface removal (HSR) and deferred texturing, therefore wasting fillrate and texture bandwidth on pixels that are not visible in the final image.

Recent advances in hierarchical Z-buffering have effectively incorporated ideas previously only used in deferred rendering, including the idea of being able to split a scene into tiles and of potentially being able to accept or reject tile sized pieces of polygon.

PowerVR chipsets

Series 1 (NEC)

PowerVR's initial products were available as the OEM graphics on some Compaq models, and as PCI cards from vendors such as Matrox.

Series 2 (NEC)

The second generation PowerVR2 ("PowerVR Series 2", chip codename "CLX2") chip found a market in the Dreamcast console between 1998 and 2001. As part of an internal competition at Sega to design the successor to the Saturn, the PowerVR2 was licensed to NEC and was chosen ahead of a rival design based on the 3dfx Voodoo 2. Thanks to the performance of the PowerVR2, several Dreamcast games such as Quake III Arena could rival their PC counterparts in quality and performance. However, the success of the Dreamcast meant that the PC variant, sold as Neon 250, appeared a year late to the market and was at that time mid-range at best.

Series 3 (STMicro)

In 2001, STMicroelectronics adopted the third generation PowerVR3 for their STG4000 KYRO and STG 4500 KYRO II (displayed) chips. The STM PowerVR3 KYRO II, released in 2001, was able to rival the more expensive ATI Radeon DDR and NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS in graphic benchmarks of the time, despite not having hardware Transform and lighting (T&L). Unfortunately, as games were increasingly optimized for hardware T&L, the KYRO II lost its performance advantage.

Series 4 (STMicro)

STM's STG5000 chip, based upon the PowerVR4, did include hardware T&L but never came to commercial fruition. It and the KYRO 3 (2D/3D AIB) were shelved due to STMicro closing its graphics division.

MBX

PowerVR achieved great success in the mobile graphics market with its low power PowerVR MBX. MBX, and its SGX successors, are licensed by seven of the top ten semiconductor manufacturers including Intel, Texas Instruments, Samsung, NEC, NXP Semiconductors, Freescale, Renesas and Sunplus. The chips are in use in many high-end cellphones including the original iPhone, Nokia N95, Sony Ericsson P1 and Motorola RIZR Z8, as well as some iPods.

There are two variants: MBX and MBX Lite. Both have the same feature set. MBX is optimized for speed and MBX Lite is optimized for low power consumption. MBX can be paired up with an FPU, Lite FPU, VGP Lite and VGP.

PowerVR Video Cores(MVED/VXD) and Video/Display Cores(PDP)

PowerVR's PDP series is used in some HDTVs, including the Sony Bravia.

Series5 (SGX)

PowerVR's SGX series is used in many popular devices, including the Apple A4 (which powers the iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV) and Samsung's Hummingbird (in Galaxy S, Wave and Galaxy Tab devices Samsung Wave S8500) and TI OMAP - Motorola's Droid phone. It features pixel, vertex, and geometry shader hardware, supporting OpenGL 2.0 and DirectX 10.1 Shader Model 4.1.

Intel uses the SGX 535 as its GMA 500 & GMA 600 integrated graphics chips.

Series5XT (SGXMP)

PowerVR SGXMP chips are multi-core variants of the SGX series.

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