This week Imagination has announced general availability of 64-bit drivers for silicon vendors using PowerVR Rogue GPUs. We are the first GPU IP provider to deliver fully implemented 64-bit drivers (kernel and user mode) running on all mainstream 64-bit CPU architectures that can be used in mobile, including ARMv8, Intel 64 Architecture (IA) and MIPS64.

PowerVR GPUs are 64-bit ready and work with any mobile CPU architecture

Several of our customers have already publicly announced 64-bit processors for the mobile computing market. For example, Intel has recently released a version of Android 4.4 KitKat with a 64-bit kernel optimized for the new Atom processors, including Z3460/Z3480 (“Merrifield”) and Z3560/Z3580 (“Moorefield”). The company ported, validated and tested the Android Open Source code on the Intel Architecture (IA), therefore doing the work required to provide their developer ecosystem with 64-bit kernel support for next-generation devices. Furthermore, Doug Fisher, general manager for the Software and Services Group, announced that Intel will regularly make Android code for IA available to OEMs and developers as part of their effort to speed up the device development cycle and improve quality.

Both Intel Atom Z3460/Z3480 and Z3560/Z3580 processors use PowerVR Series6 GPUs. One of the reasons PowerVR Rogue GPUs have been so quickly integrated in these next-generation designs is the fact that they are designed to support any 32- or 64-bit CPU. PowerVR graphics processors include a highly flexible and configurable bus architecture that supports AMBA, OCP, Sonics Smart Interconnect or any other on-chip communication standard.

PowerVR_DDK   An overview of the PowerVR software stack

Additionally, Rogue GPUs include a dedicated, programmable microcontroller which runs the MicroKernel firmware. This approach offloads the main CPU and delivers advanced scheduling capabilities that enable essential functionality and advantages for efficient compositing and multi-tasking.

PowerVR_driver_MicroKernel

The MicroKernel provides autonomous processing with minimal CPU load

Furthermore, the PowerVR Rogue GPU architecture has been designed to support 64-bit mobile computing since its initial release. All PowerVR Series6, Series6XT and Series6XE GPUs include an MMU that can natively address the full range of 64-bit virtual memory; these virtual addresses are translated to 40-bit physical addresses inside the unified system memory. This means that any PowerVR Rogue GPU can address up to 1024GB of RAM.

PowerVR GPUs support more than five operating systems

Over the last couple of years, our driver team has managed to help our partners support the widest range of operating systems and APIs. PowerVR GPUs have been used in platforms running the most eclectic selection of mobile operating systems such as Android, Firefox OS, Linux, QNX, Windows, Windows RT and others.

PowerVR_OS_support

Chipsets using PowerVR GPUs are running a variety of operating systems

Furthermore, Imagination continues to be at the forefront of graphics and compute API adoption. We have been one of the first GPU IP suppliers to announce support for OpenGL ES 3.1 and we’ve recently become the first mobile GPU to pass conformance with OpenCL 1.2.

We are committed to delivering high quality drivers that offer leading performance and stability which enable our partners’ platforms to deliver the best user experience. To find out more about PowerVR GPUs, please follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR, @PowerVRInsider) and keep coming back to our blog.

About the author: Alex Voica

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Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

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