New PowerVR Graphics Chip May Be The iPhone’s Next GPU

We’ve been hearing tantalizing rumors about a secret romance between Apple and graphics chip maker Information Technologies since April of 2008, possibly involving the making of a custom graphics chip for the iPhone and iPod touch line, but nothing conclusive was ever reported. It just so happens that today that very same graphics chip maker has announced a new high-end chip to their existing SGX series of components, the same line Apple puts in their iPhones and iPod touches.

It’s the PowerVR SGX545, and it’s capable of a whopping 40 million polygons per second, where the SGX535 Apple puts in the iPhone and iPod touch is only capable of 28 million.

Says Tony King-Smith, VP Marketing, Imagination: “Combining our many years of experience in the embedded, mobile and PC-based DirectX graphics worlds, POWERVR SGX 545 takes the possibilities of hand-held graphics to a new level by delivering a full DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.x feature set as well as delivering GPU powered OpenCL heterogeneous parallel processing capabilities for the mobile and embedded markets. This makes POWERVR SGX545 a compelling solution for application processor SoC designers targeting the next generation of netbook and MID mobile products demanding exceptional graphics capabilities.”

Perhaps most interesting was when Imagination Technologies as good as confirmed Apple’s involvement when they said today that the design had already been proven in test chips and has been “licensed by a lead partner.” Apple was unmasked as a licensee and investor of the company in late 2008, upping their stake in the company just a month later.

The only question now is if Apple is planning to use it in their iPhone/iPod touch line or that mysterious tablet we keep hearing about.

[via MacRumors]

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