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Imagination releases first IP core based on innovative PowerVR Raptor imaging processor architecture

by david.nunes

Imagination releases first IP core based on innovative PowerVR Raptor imaging processor architecture

PowerVR V2500 core rounds out integrated vision platform from Imagination


  • Low-power, highly-configurable image signal processor (ISP) designed for SoC integration
  • Designed to operate as part of a PowerVR vision computing platform
  • New companion PowerVR Series5 E5010 JPEG encoder
  • Multi-sensor support with fast context switching
  • Advanced processing pipelines from CMOS sensor to encoder and display

Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) is rolling out the first intellectual property (IP) core based on its innovative PowerVR Raptor imaging processor architecture which takes image processing to the next level for next generation applications. The high-performance, low-power, low-area PowerVR Series2 V2500 core offers a scalable and highly-configurable solution targeting a broad range of devices from cost-sensitive, mass-market feature phones to automotive to connected home security to premium smartphones and tablets.

The V2500 core joins the broad line of Imagination’s PowerVR multimedia cores, including the new PowerVR Series6XT graphics processors and PowerVR Series5 video and still image encoders and decoders, to form a complete, integrated vision platform that saves power and bandwidth for today’s camera applications, and can provide the basis for next-generation context-aware applications such as facial and gesture recognition, augmented reality and more.

Says Chris Longstaff, senior business development manager, Imagination: “The V2500 core is an extremely compelling imaging processor for use in a broad range of products that need a high performance, low power, compact solution. When the V2500 and other future Raptor cores are combined with our PowerVR graphics and video cores, the result is an optimized vision platform that can enable a new generation of devices. This enables our customers to deliver the highest quality video at the lowest possible bitrate, fully exploiting the PowerVR platform for an outstanding video experience.”

Integrated vision platform
The V2500 core is the first imaging processor IP core designed to operate as a cooperative part of a heterogeneous computing platform for advanced functions and next-generation applications. Close connections between the V2500 and other SoC resources can enable full support of 4K Ultra HD video and high pixel count photography in mobile devices and tablets.

Able to work with any video encoder, the V2500 is specially optimized for integration with Imagination’s PowerVR Series5 and previous generation video encoders, featuring a dedicated encoder processing path, direct Zero Memory output to the encoder, and the ability to output image statistics and metadata for best-in-class encode quality and real-time bitrate control. This results in lower power, lower bandwidth, lower latency and higher performance – ultimately leading to superior image quality for a given bitrate.

Inside the PowerVR V2500

Designed for SoC integration
Integrating image processing functionality onto the main SoC with the V2500 core can enable:

  • High performance alongside cost and power savings
  • Increased flexibility in sensor choice
  • Higher performance through process advantages; no limits in functionality due to process constraints
  • Enhanced functionality through access to main system memory

Multi-sensor support with fast context switching
The V2500 core provides the features and functionality needed for optimal integration of modern CMOS camera sensors, with full support for sensors from all major vendors. The V2500 core simultaneously supports multiple sensors with fast context switching, enabling stereo, multi-cam and vision array support for volumetric imaging – all with a single imaging processor. Contexts are expandable to enable multiple stereo cameras. On a phone or tablet, this enables front and rear cameras to be routed through the single IP core, and encoded and displayed simultaneously.

Advanced processing pipelines
The advanced processing pipelines of the V2500 from CMOS sensor to RGB and YUV offer the highest quality images possible with minimal noise. This includes comprehensive 1D and 2D image processing pipelines, image enhancement pipeline with a full local tonemapper for enhanced dynamic range, display processing pipeline and encoder processing pipeline. With the V2500 core, the pixel depth of the pipeline can be configured to match the sensor, conserving power compared to DSPs with fixed datapath widths.

PowerVR E5010: low-power JPEG encoding companion core with Zero Memory encode
With the launch of the V2500 imaging processor, Imagination is also introducing the new PowerVR E5010 JPEG encoder, the lowest power JPEG encode solution available in the market. The E5010 core can be configured to reach performance in excess of 1Gpixel/second. This very low-area encoder is an ideal companion core for the V2500. Able to take direct input from the V2500, it enables encoding without the use of external memory. This minimizes latency and memory bandwidth while providing a high-speed solution that can allow for zero shutter lag applications.

Tools and Software Support
Imagination provides comprehensive software for image processing, lens and sensor tuning to enable customers to support a wide variety of industry-leading sensors and lenses such as those from Aptina, Omnivision and Sony. Also included are software drivers to support Linux, Android and other operating systems including real-time operating systems. The comprehensive software stack includes auto white balance, auto focus and auto exposure (3A) algorithms. Also included are several algorithms optimized for PowerVR Series6 GPUs including anti-shake, face detection and HDR (high dynamic range).

The PowerVR V2500 core is available for licensing now. Contact info@imgtec.com.

About the PowerVR Raptor architecture
Highly power-efficient, and with a comprehensive configurable pipeline, Imagination’s PowerVR Series2 Raptor imaging processor architecture is ideal for low-power products such as mobile and wearables, and can seamlessly scale to provide the performance needed for 4K/8K Ultra HD video, multi-megapixel photography and higher pixel depth sensors. Because it was built for efficient extensibility, the Raptor architecture easily extends to address these high-end products with higher pixel counts without impacting the efficiency of the base architecture.

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination is a global technology leader whose products touch the lives of billions of people throughout the world. The company’s broad range of silicon IP (intellectual property) includes the key multimedia, communications and general purpose processors needed to create the SoCs (Systems on Chips) that power all mobile, consumer, automotive, enterprise, infrastructure, IoT and embedded electronics. These are complemented by its unique software and cloud IP and system solution focus, enabling its licensees and partners get to market quickly by creating and leveraging highly differentiated SoC platforms. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who are creating some of the world’s most iconic and disruptive products. See: www.imgtec.com.

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