2nd June 2011

Imagination brings long standing experience to successfully deliver DirectX for next generation Windows for SoCs


Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia and communications technologies company, is delivering graphics and video IP cores supporting the newest versions of Microsoft DirectX across x86 and ARM based SoCs (Systems on Chip) for the next version of Windows as well as on x86 Windows 7 PCs.

As the Windows platform drives the convergence of desktop and consumer appliances, Imagination has seen growing demand for DirectX capabilities and its market proven DirectX compatible POWERVR graphics and video hardware IP (Intellectual Property) cores, which form a fundamental enabling technology for that convergence process.

Building on Imagination’s long and proven track record in the delivery of Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) production-ready software drivers, the company says that, as the demand for support of Microsoft DirectX multimedia services and APIs broadens across more markets, the ability to properly support DirectX is key, and Imagination is one of the only technology IP companies with direct experience of doing so.

Says Imagination’s VP marketing, Tony King-Smith: “We rarely stand up and shout about our skills, but in this case we think it’s important to highlight that Imagination is one of very few companies that has the experience of delivering DirectX for SoCs. DirectX is a sophisticated and advanced API which embraces a broad array of graphics, video and multimedia management functions and experience is vital to delivering the best in class DirectX solution that enables the best possible compatibility across all forms of DirectX content. We’ve spent more than 15 years honing our ability to deliver best in class DirectX for our graphics and video IP cores – and it is the rigour of overcoming such challenges that has made Imagination one of the world’s leading suppliers of DirectX solutions.”

Imagination Partners and DirectX

Multiple licensees of Imagination’s graphics or video technologies, including Intel and Texas Instruments, will be able to support full DirectX for the next version of Windows across both x86 and ARM as well as for x86-based systems with Windows 7.

Intel has already deployed highly successful Windows-based X86 devices such as the Atom™ Z5xx family incorporating POWERVR video and graphics into the DirectX market, with more in plan.

TI will deploy POWERVR graphics technology in future OMAP™ platform-based SoC designs targeting the mobile computing and tablet markets across key operating systems such as the next version of Windows.

Deepu Talla, general manager, OMAP mobile computing business unit, TI says: “The OMAP platform is redefining mobile experiences through unparalleled user experiences centered on high-performing, highly power-efficient devices. TI continues to work with Imagination to optimize its complementary, market-leading POWERVR cores first within the OMAP4470 applications processor to support this transformative momentum. The result is the delivery of marked graphics advancements, including DirectX and more, that will underscore next generation UIs.”

Graphics IP cores

Imagination has shipped graphics cores supporting DirectX for 15 years.

Imagination currently ships a wide range of cores supporting DirectX including the latest POWERVR SGX544, SGX544MPx, SGX554 and SGX554MPx which all provide full support for DirectX 9 Feature Level 3 with maximum hardware acceleration, making them ideal for tablets and other mobile computing devices.

POWERVR SGX544 and SGX554 can be implemented as high-performance single core solutions (4 or 8 pipelines respectively), or in multiprocessor (MP) configurations of between 2 and 16 cores (4 to 128 pipes.)

Cores in the POWERVR Series6 family, which is codenamed ‘Rogue’, support from DirectX 10 up to DirectX 11.

Video IP cores

Imagination supports the full range of DirectX video features and has shipped DirectX video cores for over seven years.

Imagination’s POWERVR VXD video decoders and POWERVR VXE video encoders deliver multi-stream, multi-standard, HD decode and/or encode, supporting all major video standards.

All VXD and VXE cores support all the major video standards including H.264 (Base to High profile), MPEG4, MPEG2, VC-1/WMV, AVS, Sorenson and JPEG. Many VXD cores now also offer hardware rotation and scaling, delivering significant reductions in bandwidth and power consumption. When combined with SGX cores, scaling can also be done by the SGX core, making the combination of VXD, VXE and SGX extremely powerful for a wide range of multimedia applications.

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) – a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies – creates and licenses market-leading multimedia IP cores for graphics, video, and display processing, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP cores and multi-standard communications and connectivity processors. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by platform level IP and services, a strong array of software tools and drivers and extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics. Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.


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