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3D Center


Imagination Technologies

Interview mit ImgTec 2003

25. We realise that there's ongoing research for smaller manufacturing processes such as 90nm and 65nm in the more distant future. Die shrinks obviously suggest the ability to increase clock speeds and of course more headroom for further feature additions. Are things such as a stencil buffer and/or cube map support amongst the priorities for future incarnations of MBX like MBX2 or MBX3?

John: The feature set will increase for future generations but it's too early to say specifically how. That said, the types of features you indicate would be possible.

26. Considering that power consumption and heat dissipation will always be a major concern with embedded devices, how long would you estimate that the integration of advanced programmable shading capabilities into those types of devices will take?

John: The main lesson of the last 40+ years is that increased silicon integration and features is relentless; support for full shading support will inevitably come, but there are various opinions on when.

27. Are any steps being taken to ensure that MBX remains the market leader?

John: We are building further alliances and working on expanding our partnerships to further tier one silicon companies. With the partners we have - Intel, TI, Renesas etc - we are already in a very strong position and fully intend to build on that.

28. Do you feel threatened by the competition with regard to 3D capable PDA/mobile devices, even with large IHVs such as NVIDIA/ATI/Bitboys OY etc. entering those markets? (see MediaQ acquisition by NVIDIA).

John: We feel vindicated as much as threatened by the emergence of potential competition in this area. We would never write-off ATI or Nvidia, who obviously continue to be very successful in the PC space. However no other graphics company has yet shown the ability to bring the same performance and features to the embedded space.

29. Would the assumption that in some cases ImgTec is metaphorically pulling the carpet out from under some competitors’ feet be an exaggeration?

John: Well, at the minute PowerVR MBX is the only high-performance choice for mobile devices...

30. FSAA4free(tm) is part of MBX's featureset. Considering Anti-aliasing comes essentially for free in the x resolution, while having a minor fillrate penalty in the y resolution, one would assume that MBX uses Supersampling. Is it safe to assume that the same marketing term will make its appearance in future products too, yet not necessary with the same sampling approach?

David: I can't say at this time.

31. Is there any interest for addressing the mobile and integrated/chipset market in the future, under the presupposition that potential clients/licensees will request such IP?

John: I assume you mean the PC integrated chipset market - we believe we have the perfect technology for this market given our ability to deliver performance and features without using vast amounts of bandwidth, so yes, we do see it as a potential market.

32. The recent breakthrough from the Metagence division concerning Linux ports on multithreading capable SoCs didn't go unnoticed, which would suggest ongoing research for Linux for all platforms. End users have already voiced interest if future PC products will be accompanied with Linux drivers at launch. Anything you'd like to tell them?

David: Linux is a key area of interest for us and we intend to support it appropriately across our technology divisions.

33. One of the recent ImgTec patents deals with a copy protection scheme. Could you elaborate what its purpose and target is?

John: The patent deals with another element of DRM and how a publisher protects their intellectual property through distribution to the end user.

34. What is your opinion on virtual texturing? Wouldn't it make sense to use a similar approach on a deferred renderer, especially for the cases where textures flood the local memory?

John: Virtual texturing is an interesting technique and one which tile based rendering can take full advantage of, given that a tile based renderer can look ahead a full scene to what textures are required (and in which tile).

35. Do you think that 32bit floating point accuracy in pixel shaders are or will become a necessity soon?

John: That depends on the target market. 32bit precision is, as ever, a trade-off between size, performance and quality. I would expect to see a range of solutions for pixel shader accuracy for some time to come.

36. Judging from recent benchmark results (such as HL2 f.e.), do you think that applications/games are tending to become more shader limited and far less bandwidth limited than before? Do you predict that under those presuppositions future PowerVR products to be able to keep pace with the competition?

John: Different benchmarks have tended to stress different performance elements and while pixel shader performance is an important factor, bandwidth will remain top, or very close to top, of the list of factors affecting overall performance. One thing to note of course, is that if pixel shading is the bottleneck, a deferred texture engine only shades visible pixels and is therefore much more efficient than an immediate mode renderer in this respect too.

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 Interview mit ImgTec 2003
 5 Seiten
 verfasst von loewe
 Montag - 07.11.2005 - 19:11 Uhr
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