IMAGINATION TECHNOLOGIES is pushing into the mobile artificial intelligence chip game with the PowerVR Series3NX neural network accelerator.
That might seem like a load of gobbledygook but the accelerator is effectively a means to power artificial neural networks - think computer takes on how the brain works - and run them on a device locally, be it a smartphone, smart gadget, or some kind of Internet of Things gizmo like a smart camera that can intelligently grass-up yobos when is spies them tagging stuff.
A Series3NX core can run from 0.6 to 10 'tera operations' per second, while a multi-core setup can scale up to 160 TOPS; we have no real idea what that means, but basically, it'll be able to crunch through a load of data and spit out clever infraction or actions as a response.
As such, you could expect implementations of the accelerator to pop up in devices that say offer computer vision and image recognition smarts, or have the ability to better understand and process natural language commands.
With a 40 per cent boost over the previous generation accelerator over the same silicon area, Imagination Technologies reckons SoC makers will get a 60 per cent hike in performance efficiency.
But Imagination Technologies' bread and butter silicon stuff is with GPU chips, so the firm also revealed some new PowerVR graphics accelerators; the PowerVR Series9XEP, Series9XMP, and Series9XTP.
The first GPU is an entry-level one offering the chops to power graphical user interfaces and perhaps some light gaming on smart devices like TV or car infotainment systems.
The Series9XMP uses Imagination Technologies' 'Rogue' architecture, which promises a good dollop of pixel pushing for gadgets such as smartphones, smart TVs and set-top boxes. Oh and there's a bit of neural network acceleration thrown in for good measure, because why not.
And finally, the Series9XTP uses the company's 'Furian' architecture for the best the firm can offer in graphics performance and workloads that make use of GPU acceleration; so think high-end smartphones and servers.
And that's about it. Imagination Technologies is clearly not intimidated by the tech on the likes of Apple's A12 Bionic and is happily kicking out accelerator chips at a decent lick; no we need a sit-down and a cup of tea, because that's a lot to process (tortured pun intended). µ
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