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CES: GPU candidates for Apple's next iPad, iPhone are 20 times more powerful

Imagination Technologies announced on Tuesday that its next-generation PowerVR Series6 GPU core family, which could find their way into Apple's future iPhones and iPads, will offer 20 times more performance than the current generation.

The PowerVR G6200 and G6400 GPU IP cores are the first in the Power VR Series6 GPU family from Imagination Technologies. The chipmaker said its latest mobile processors are a new benchmark for high performance with low power consumption.

The G6200 will feature two compute clusters, while the G6400 will sport four clusters. Imagination Technologies said the chips will find their way into smartphones, tablets, PCs, consoles, cars, TVs and more.

Of course, one of the biggest users of Imagination Technologies chips is Apple, which features their graphics processors in its custom-built ARM CPUs that power the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and even the Apple TV. The A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S has a GPU clocked at 800MHz, which is 73 percent faster than the A4 processor that powered the iPhone 4.

The new Series6 GPUs are based on the PowerVR Rogue architecture, which Imagination said will enable devices to provide "ultra-realistic gaming" and more complex applications. The Series6GPUs can deliver 20 times or more of the performance of current GPU cores through an architecture that is five times more efficient than previous generations.

"Based on our experience in shipping hundreds of millions of GPU cores, plus extensive market and customer feedback, we have been able to set a new standard in GPU architecture, particularly in the areas of power, bandwidth and efficiency — the key metrics by which GPUs are now judged," Imagination Chief Executive Hossein Yassaie said. "We are confident that with the Rogue architecture we have a very clear technology advantage and an exceptional roadmap for the PowerVR Series6 family which our partners can depend on."

Imagination announced last June that the "Rogue" processors were being licensed to six partners. Apple was not named among those partners, but is a major shareholder in Imagination Technologies. AppleInsider first reported in 2008 that Apple had purchased a 3 percent stake in the company, and its share grew to 9.5 percent in 2009.

Though there haven't been any concrete indications about Apple's next-generation mobile processor, it's possible that a so-called "A6" chip, rumored to appear in Apple's third-generation iPad, could feature Imagination's Series6 GPUs. Apple is rumored to launch its next iPad in March, a year after the iPad 2 was introduced.