New graphics chips offer a vision of the future for smart devices

PowerVR GPUs are really starting to flex their muscles

Imagination Technologies has announced a pair of new GPUs which are part of the PowerVR Series7XT Plus range – the GT7200 Plus and GT7400 Plus.

These are beefy performers that will be deployed in mid to higher-end consumer electronics, and are not just about pushing pixels around fluidly, but also driving computer vision tech in consumer devices.

The GT7200 Plus is a dual-cluster configuration which boasts 64 ALU cores while the GT7400 Plus is a quad-cluster affair offering 128 ALU cores.

Both GPUs have been ramped up with a new integer pipeline to speed along vision-related applications, and indeed Imagination claims that the PowerVR Series7XT Plus family will boost performance for computer vision applications by up to a factor of four.

The new graphics processors also add support for OpenCL 2.0, and benefit from various micro-architectural tweaks to improve overall performance and power efficiency.

From phones to cars...

What does all this mean in practical terms? These GPUs will sit in the likes of smartphones and tablets, smart TVs and set-top boxes, connected cars and IoT devices, bringing forth a whole new range of capabilities to these consumer devices.

For example, we'll see 4K security cameras which use the GPU for image recognition, and autonomous cars that use the tech to detect lanes and avoid collisions.

When it comes to the smartphone, Imagination notes that it has worked with Chinese search giant Baidu, combining computer graphics recognition and deep learning to produce a new system for the latter's mobile app. This means the Baidu app (pictured above) will be able to analyse an image on the handset, recognise the clothes on a person in that picture and then offer suggestions of where you can buy said garments from.

It's clever stuff, and Imagination's new GPUs' hardware acceleration could have a major impact not just on image recognition and classification, but also on body and gesture tracking, augmented reality, AI in drones and robots, and much more…