Imagination runs 3DMark Next full shader on an iPad

MWC 2014: Is mobile there yet? If not it will be soon

Imagination logoImagination had two really interesting goodies at MWC, the previously mentioned VP9 codec and 3DMark Next with full shaders on an iPad. Of the two, the 3DMark demo impressed SemiAccurate the most, but the VP9 codec will probably have a bigger impact on the average user.

As Thomas Ryan wrote up last week, Imagination is porting the full VP9 codec to their GPUs. Not much to add to what Thomas said other than a two cluster Rogue/Series6 GPU can decode 1080p video in hardware at 400MHz or less. If you were doubting the viability of OpenCL, this should change your mind, or it will when you see the power numbers. It also looks pretty, see?

1080p VP9 on Imagination GPUs

VP9 looks good on an iPad

The other new showing was quite unexpected, the full version of 3DMark Next running on an iPad. Other than showing how much Imagination likes iPads, this demo shows the power of the Series6 GPUs. They were running the full weight PC 3DMark shaders, ported to OpenGL ES3 of course, at decent speeds. For a mobile device it looked pretty amazing, the lighting and shading was completely correct, or at least completely correct to the accuracy available to an observer’s eye.

3DMark Next full shaders running on an Imagination GPU in an iPad

3DMark Next full on an iPad with Series6 GPUs

What more is there to say? How about that these Imagination Series6 GPUs which should be all over the place in this year’s crop of mobile devices do GPU Compute right. While the 3DMark demo was still early, it only came to MW C on the last day of the show, it showed none of the usual lack of polish early showings of graphical prowess normally do. This is a really good sign, I can’t wait to see what happens when the game devs really pound on this core.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate