Apple's ongoing use of ImgTec PowerVR GPU IP

Discussion in 'Mobile Graphics Architectures and IP' started by tangey, Apr 3, 2017.

Tags:
  1. loekf

    Regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    614
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    It's even 2015:

    In a statement to Bloomberg issued on Friday, Apple says that it stopped accepting new technologies and told Imagination that it was going to discontinue the relationship in 2015. Imagination only told its shareholders that this was happening in 2016, after Apple invoked the clause in its contract to pay a lower royalty rate for using less of Imagination's technologies.
     
    milk likes this.
  2. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    8,734
    Likes Received:
    2,566
    Location:
    Finland
    Erm, how AMD APUs are not exactly that?
     
  3. Pixel

    Veteran Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    467
    Because Apple is a someone, AMD unfortunately is a no one.
     
  4. Arnold Beckenbauer

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    Germany
    Imagination and Apple Sign New Agreement

    :runaway:
     
    DavidGraham and Silent_Buddha like this.
  5. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,861
    Likes Received:
    6,001
  6. Rootax

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    769
    Location:
    France
    Could it mean that Apple own effort to make a gpu failed ?
     
  7. Entropy

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Well, the products they are delivering now are arguably the most efficient in the industry bar none, so that would be a strange take.
    SB:s RT speculation, or simply that IMG has some good stuff in its patent portfolio that it would benefit Apple to use would be a more levelheaded assumption. Won’t make a headline on Fudzilla with that though.
     
    milk likes this.
  8. DavidGraham

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    3,291
    Or deemed not worthy of the cost of development relative to licensing fees.
     
  9. Rootax

    Veteran Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    769
    Location:
    France
    Yeah sorry, I had more that kind of scenario in mind. And the patents minefield.
     
  10. Nebuchadnezzar

    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Or that no such thing ever existed.
     
  11. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    8,734
    Likes Received:
    2,566
    Location:
    Finland
    I tend to agree with this, at most they've done custom implementations from IMG IP, I can't see any other way they wouldn't have been already sued to moon and back by other major parties with relevant graphics patents
     
  12. Entropy

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    3,131
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Well they have assembled one hell of a big team of qualifed people to just sit around twiddling their thumbs. Including a load of prior IMG staff.

    The most likely scenario is that they know that IMG sits on IP that would simplify for Apple to hit their performance/W/gate goals, and license it. Hell it could be stuff that Apple staff developed themselves while at IMG!

    (It’s hilarious that with the proficiency Apple has demonstrated in low level architecture design, and the large number of GPU specialists they have assembled since years, that their ability to do a GPU is questioned. Its like we’re back almost a decade, when they couldn’t possibly design an ARM core, at best they might be gluing building blocks together...)
     
  13. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    8,734
    Likes Received:
    2,566
    Location:
    Finland
    No amount of qualified people gets you around the patent jungle. That's why it's most likely that Apples "own GPU" is in fact just Apple-designed GPU based on IMG IP
    I mean, what are the chances that a company which has no previous GPUs of their own and doesn't hold tremendous amounts of GPU related patents could design a new GPU on their own without infringing patents held by the big players? Apple didn't design an ARM core without licensing IP (more than just patents) from ARM either
     
  14. mfaisalkemal

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    27
    Link

    Maybe apple soc?

    Does anyone know what a video purporting to show software-based ray tracing using a custom game engine has already been shown on a popular handset that talked in that article?
     
    #134 mfaisalkemal, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  15. Nebuchadnezzar

    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    They're busy working on their "custom" GPUs and doing a industry-leading job. At a high level Apple's current GPUs still very much look like Rogue, even if Apple went ahead and improved and rewrote/replaced most of the blocks themselves over the years. It's essentially just a fork from the IMG design back in 2014-15 but developed independently.

    But this is not a new custom GPU as originally stated in the 2017 claim; you'd need a clean-room implementation (preferably by a different design team, everything is absolutely polluted with IMG IP) and the resulting GPU would likely look nothing like the current designs. The fact that the announcement came out means that either failed, or more likely, it simply never existed in the first place.
     
    #135 Nebuchadnezzar, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    Lodix likes this.
  16. Silent_Buddha

    Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Messages:
    16,861
    Likes Received:
    6,001
    Interestingly enough a late 2020 timeframe and mention of other SOC designers (plural) could potentially involve the SOC designed for Sony by AMD. I'm not sure how that would work out or even if it's possible, but who knows?

    Regards,
    SB
     
  17. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
    Moderator Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Taiwan
    Licensing someone's IP does not mean making a copy of their design. This is like saying AMD's CPU is just the same or very similar to Intel ones.
    Also, Apple's ARM CPU are much more efficient and faster than other SoC using ARM designed cores. How's that possible if they only make something "based on someone's IP"?
     
  18. Kaotik

    Kaotik Drunk Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Messages:
    8,734
    Likes Received:
    2,566
    Location:
    Finland
    I never said it would be a copy of their design, but that the work Apple has done is based on the IMG IP rather than a new GPU they cooked up themselves, as someone pointed earlier "it still looks very much like a Rogue on high level"
     
  19. ToTTenTranz

    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,617
    Likes Received:
    5,180
    That's my perception on the ordeal.
    Apple just didn't want to mention IMG / PowerVR in their marketing material because it's a reather weak brand nowadays, and they wanted a new deal that allowed them to do just that.
    Making a modern GPU architecture from the ground up without stepping into IP infringement from nvidia, AMD, Intel, IMG, ARM, etc. is probably a near impossible project. Just look at how that went for Samsung.
     
  20. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
    Moderator Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,794
    Likes Received:
    187
    Location:
    Taiwan
    I'm not sure what the meaning of "on high level" though. I don't think Apple disclosed too much on the inner detail of their GPU. It could be very similar to older IMG GPU, or not. If you judge it base on Metal (or other graphics API) then probably all GPU are pretty much alike "on high level" (Metal supports many GPU from different vendors). Remember, Apple has to maintain compatibility with older apps for their new SoC so it has to be similar from software perspective.
    Anyway, having a license deal means very little on how similar their designs are. I don't see anyone here providing a hard evidence on how similar the designs are, other than "because Apple has a licensing deal with IMG so they must be similar" which IMHO is a weak argument.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...