13. We've noticed some job vacancies lately at ImgTec. Have those
spots been filled in the meantime, or are there still open positions?
John: We are always looking for people with the right skills - even if we
aren't advertising a specific job.
14. In public announcements recently, there have been notes about
ImgTec/PowerVR's interest in re-entering the console market. How do you think
your chances look in that department, especially since ATI recently did in fact
license solely a graphics core for such an application?
John: We are one of a very small number of graphics companies with a history
in this market and we have technologies that are highly relevant.
15. How would you describe relations/contracts with other IHVs in
the graphics market? We have a hard time believing it ever gets as hostile as
at the end user base.
David: Well we're really nice to everyone!
16. PowerVR is one of only two British graphics IHVs, 3DLabs being
the other. The distance between the two companies' headquarters is merely about
50km. Is there any contact between the two companies? We would assume at the
very least engineers or other employees know each other?
John: To be frank there's not much contact - maybe we see them at shows and
conferences but there are no doubt people who live thousands of miles away that
we know better.
17. ImgTec joined several company "alliances" lately, like
for instance the recent participation in OCP. What are the benefits for all
companies and more specifically ImgTec? (see link here)
John: Standardisation reduces everyone's risk and helps make sure companies'
efforts are not going to be wasted. This kind of standardisation has helped the PC develop into the platform it is today and will be equally important in new areas, like mobile devices. By ensuring all the important players in
a given market are working and talking together these industry bodies help their
target markets to grow and innovate.
18. Could you describe in a rough manner how MBX development started,
who built the prototypes that were presented last summer and how it evolved
into its current state?
John: MBX development started when we started to see a future need for graphics
in low power handheld devices. We worked on it over a number of years, leading
initially to the FPGA prototypes we showed last summer.
19. Can we assume that similar development philosophies have been
or will be kept for other upcoming products too?
20. Past claims noted MBX most likely being comparable to a Dreamcast
in SoC format. Considering the performance estimates after seeing the product
come to life in its 120MHz/13nm iterations, do you feel the target has been
met or surpassed?
David: Although there are similarities between the Dreamcast and PowerVR MBX
processors, there are also significant differences in terms of resolutions and
platforms targeted and the feature-set implemented on MBX. MBX has a wider feature
set than the Dreamcast chip and has the potential to provide console level performance
on handheld devices with FSAA, texture compression, bump-mapping etc. MBX implementations
have the potential to be every bit as powerful as Dreamcast, depending on silicon
speed and associated CPU.
21. Is MBX still only available in FPGA format, or are there already
real silicon implementations?
John: Silicon will be on show very soon.
22. ImgTec´s contribution to the OpenGL ES development appears
to be significant. How will the MBX Vertex Shader fit into the API and will
there be any extensions for it in the driver?
John: GL ES 1.0 does not support Vertex Shader programming, but we will be
providing extensions to support this in our drivers. We hope that these extensions
will be adopted into OGL ES 1.1
23. Will there be a public SDK for MGL?
John: There is an MGL SDK available today, and it only requires a straightforward
agreement with IMG.
24. Are there any plans for an MBX website, providing an additional
marketing push and improve public awareness about it?
David: We have MBX information available at http://www.powervr.com/Technology.asp
and this will be expanded in the upcoming redesign of PowerVR.com