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Lonely1
Member
(09-12-2017, 07:23 PM)
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PowerVR, the GPU behind beloved consoles like Dream Cast and the Vita. You can say that they recently lived a golden epoch as the sole supplier of Apple iOS GPUs. However, starting by the A11 SOC unveiled today, Apple will use GPUs developed in house.

They have nearly no presence in Android, I'm not aware of them investing heavily into AI chips like Nvidia and, last time I read about it, Apple represented 80% of their business. What will happen to this historic British tech company? PSP3 to the rescue!?
Lonely1
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:39 PM)
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BTW, 30% GPU power increase must be the smallest jump on an iOS generation ever...

Was it worth it?
AmFreak
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:43 PM)

Originally Posted by Lonely1

BTW, 30% GPU power increase must be the smallest jump on an iOS device ever...

Was it worth it?

The reason for this is money.
So yes.
Randdalf
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:44 PM)
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They already announced the Apple thing a few months ago, their stock dropped by 70%. Which would make them undervalued given that Apple makes up half their revenue?
Lonely1
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by Randdalf

They already announced the Apple thing a few months ago, their stock dropped by 70%. Which would make them undervalued given that Apple makes up half their revenue?

Yeah, but the change was expected for next year. Or so I read.
Fiendcode
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by Randdalf

They already announced the Apple thing a few months ago, their stock dropped by 70%. Which would make them undervalued given that Apple makes up half their revenue?

Apple should just buy them probably.
DeuceGamer
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:52 PM)
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What are their other products? With Apple moving away, Vita no longer viable, what other products do they provide Technology for?
AmFreak
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:55 PM)

Originally Posted by Randdalf

They already announced the Apple thing a few months ago, their stock dropped by 70%. Which would make them undervalued given that Apple makes up half their revenue?

Depends on the consequences of the halved revenue.
How much of their profit do they loose because of that halved revenue?
How big is the effect on the number of people they employee, on their R&D budget, on other parts of their company?
Halved revenue can easily mean game over if it means you can't stay competitive/profitable anymore due to the "lost" money.
The opposite is also possible.
Lonely1
Member
(09-12-2017, 08:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by DeuceGamer

What are their other products? With Apple moving away, Vita no longer viable, what other products do they provide Technology for?

They also supply MIPS CPUs....
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-12-2017, 09:01 PM)
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Originally Posted by Lonely1

BTW, 30% GPU power increase must be the smallest jump on an iOS generation ever...

Was it worth it?

For a holistic sw-ecosystem vendor to control their hw? Absolutely.
onQ123
Junior Member
(09-12-2017, 09:03 PM)
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Last I heard they was up for sale
FairFriend
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:10 PM)
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A few years ago it seemed their PowerVr mobile gpus were destined to become the de facto leader in the mobile segment. I remember a lot of buzz around their rogue architecture. What has happened since then (besides Apple giving them the finger, that is)?
Lonely1
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by FairFriend

A few years ago it seemed their PowerVr mobile gpus were destined to become the de facto leader in the mobile segment. I remember a lot of buzz around their rogue architecture. What has happened since then (besides Apple giving them the finger, that is)?

This also puzzles me. PowerVR GPUs were the best in the field. Was that all Apple's?
DeuceGamer
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by Lonely1

They also supply MIPS CPUs....

I'm guessing it's not looking good for them at this point then. It must be tough to have all that money from Apple and then nearly go out of business when they leave. I'm sure they tried to diversify and not rely on one company, but that seems to be exactly what happened for the majority of their revenue.

From my understanding they have good technology. Any chance someone buys them out?
Lonely1
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by blu

For a holistic sw-ecosystem vendor to control their hw? Absolutely.

They still have to license ARM tech, right?
ApharmdX
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by Lonely1

PowerVR, the GPU behind beloved consoles like Dream Cast and the Vita. You can say that they recently lived a golden epoch as the sole supplier of Apple iOS GPUs. However, starting by the A11 SOC unveiled today, Apple will use GPUs developed in house.

They have nearly no presence in Android, I'm not aware of them investing heavily into AI chips like Nvidia and, last time I read about it, Apple represented 80% of their business. What will happen to this historic British tech company? PSP3 to the rescue!?

I wish they'd move back into the PC space. I still have fond memories of their Kyro/Kyro II chips, and I even had a PowerVr Neon 250, which was cool despite its quirks. With the current GPU market, we could use another player.
AmFreak
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:32 PM)

Originally Posted by Lonely1

They still have to license ARM tech, right?

Yes, but they develop their own cores.
tuxfool
Member
(09-12-2017, 09:46 PM)

Originally Posted by Lonely1

They still have to license ARM tech, right?

I can imagine one day they might seek to be completely free of the ARM ISA.
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-12-2017, 09:50 PM)
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Originally Posted by tuxfool

I can imagine one day they might seek to be completely free of the ARM ISA.

RISC-V?
OBias
Member
(09-12-2017, 10:46 PM)

Originally Posted by blu

RISC-V?

Something completely proprietary is more likely, if they ditch ARM.
dr_rus
Member
(09-12-2017, 10:50 PM)
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Originally Posted by onQ123

Last I heard they was up for sale

Quite officially actually: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40364662

The problem is that there's not many companies who would be interested, besides Apple itself.

Originally Posted by Lonely1

This also puzzles me. PowerVR GPUs were the best in the field. Was that all Apple's?

Everyone made their own GPU since then. Qualcomm had it, Samsung has it, even ARM itself provides Mali reference GPU now. PowerVR was left with Apple and low end ARM chip designs which can't really pay enough for sustaining the licensing model.
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-12-2017, 10:58 PM)
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Originally Posted by OBias

Something completely proprietary is more likely, if they ditch ARM.

I was facetious. I don't see a serious reason for them to ditch the most prolific ISA on the planet for the time being. As it is, apple have complete control over their uarch, while enjoying all the sw perks ARM community and ecosystem offer. Apple dropped 32-bit and can continue taking whatever makes the most sense for them from the standard.

Originally Posted by dr_rus

Quite officially actually: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40364662

The problem is that there's not many companies who would be interested, besides Apple itself.

The Chinese would snap them up for the right price, with a siding.
dr_rus
Member
(09-12-2017, 11:11 PM)
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Originally Posted by blu

The Chinese would snap them up for the right price, with a siding.

Yeah, but I imagine that the price ain't right as even Apple decided against buying them out - which would be the most logical solution here.
onQ123
Junior Member
(09-13-2017, 12:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by dr_rus

Quite officially actually: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40364662

The problem is that there's not many companies who would be interested, besides Apple itself.

Yeah it seem that Apple would have been the one's to buy them but maybe Amazon or Google will buy them for some patents or something ,they have the ray tracing processor.
Nikodemos
Member
(09-13-2017, 12:49 AM)
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I made a thread about this two years ago.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1094244
Lonely1
Member
(09-13-2017, 10:07 AM)
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Originally Posted by ApharmdX

I wish they'd move back into the PC space. I still have fond memories of their Kyro/Kyro II chips, and I even had a PowerVr Neon 250, which was cool despite its quirks. With the current GPU market, we could use another player.

I'm not well versed in this. Why did they left it on the first place?
Jonnax
Member
(09-13-2017, 10:13 AM)
Why don't they have any market share in Android?
Sounds like a stupid business decision to have the majority of their income coming in from Apple.

They did do some GPUs for intel CPUs before Intel got big in their CPU designs. Problem is that there's compatibility problems because they never updated their drivers to run on Win10.

Tbh. Their shortsightedness put them on this path.
Toadthemushroom
Member
(09-13-2017, 10:23 AM)

Originally Posted by Jonnax

Why don't they have any market share in Android?
Sounds like a stupid business decision to have the majority of their income coming in from Apple.

They did do some GPUs for intel CPUs before Intel got big in their CPU designs. Problem is that there's compatibility problems because they never updated their drivers to run on Win10.

Tbh. Their shortsightedness put them on this path.

Aa soon as Texas Instruments stopped making SoCs, their days on Android were numbered. Texas Instruments used to pair ARM CPUs with PowerVR GPUs (often older and less capable ones though - Apple must have bought all the best GPUs).

Qualcomm bought what was AMD's mobile GPU division and ended up making their own GPUs. Samsung does the same with their own SoCs. I can't think of many other major players in the SoC space who could use PowerVR GPUs that would get the margins Imagination need.
Yohane
Member
(09-13-2017, 10:35 AM)
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Dreamcast 2
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-13-2017, 11:10 AM)
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Originally Posted by dr_rus

Yeah, but I imagine that the price ain't right as even Apple decided against buying them out - which would be the most logical solution here.

Well, price is always subject to negotiations. And there's always chapter 11, of course. /shrug

Originally Posted by Lonely1

I'm not well versed in this. Why did they left it on the first place?

They left for greener pastures. Which was perfectly justified back then. Where IMGTEC absolutely misjudged their course was neglecting all their other options for one big customer. That's a no-no.

Also QCOMM and ARM gradually ate IMGTEC's (non-fruit) lunch - QCOMM by never using anything but in-house tech, and ARM by releasing the fastest-advancing GPU IP in recent history. At the end of the day IMGTEC ended up as that one vendor of competitive GPU IP proven to work for just one customer.

That said, I don't see why their clients like MediaTek, Rockchip et al wouldn't gladly acquire them, see pricing conversation above.
tuxfool
Member
(09-13-2017, 11:43 AM)

Originally Posted by blu

I was facetious. I don't see a serious reason for them to ditch the most prolific ISA on the planet for the time being. As it is, apple have complete control over their uarch, while enjoying all the sw perks ARM community and ecosystem offer. Apple dropped 32-bit and can continue taking whatever makes the most sense for them from the standard.

I don't think it is happening any time soon. But given that they control nearly everything right down from hardware to the software toolchain what exactly are they benefiting from in terms of the network effects of ARM's architecture?
Lonely1
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(09-13-2017, 12:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by blu

That said, I don't see why their clients like MediaTek, Rockchip et al wouldn't gladly acquire them, see pricing conversation above.

I wonder if their deals with Apple prevented access to those SoC vendors to acquire the higher-end designs. Unless it is an Apple SoC, PowerVR is a synonym with lower end chips.:/
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-13-2017, 12:27 PM)
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Originally Posted by tuxfool

I don't think it is happening any time soon. But given that they control nearly everything right down from hardware to the software toolchain what exactly are they benefiting from in terms of the network effects of ARM's architecture?

You generally want a popular, contemporary, actively-developing ISA, but also one that is entirely under your uarch control and thus meets your hw demands. You'd drop such a popular ISA only when it does not meet your hw demands (as we both agree, not the case with ARMv8). The perks of a popular ISA are numerous - more people (read: professionals, acadmia and hobbyists) working on toolchains than your own internal team, more people working on future developments of the ISA than your own internal team (e.g. SVE which originates from Fujitsu), more exposure of the ISA to app developers (e.g. middleware running on ARMv8 vs running on ProprietaryISA++). Just look at how having two players contribute to an ISA actually saved the latter from long-pending death - Intel, AMD and their amd64. Now, while ARM holdings are the sole owner of the ISA, they're definitely influenced by their customers (read: arch licensees and core licensees), who are numerous and active, generating a pronounced networking effect.

The case with IMGTEC was definitely not the same - there apple, being _the_ customer, dictated where the IP went anyway, so they had little benefit from network effects.
Lonely1
Member
(09-13-2017, 12:29 PM)
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Agree with you there Blu. But then, there's Metal...
Thraktor
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(09-13-2017, 12:48 PM)
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Originally Posted by FairFriend

A few years ago it seemed their PowerVr mobile gpus were destined to become the de facto leader in the mobile segment. I remember a lot of buzz around their rogue architecture. What has happened since then (besides Apple giving them the finger, that is)?

ARM's Mali GPUs happened. Once ARM started offering competitive GPUs in the mid-high end segments, ImgTech's big Android customers like Samsung and Huawei started switching over. I'd imagine there's a cost factor involved (ARM likely offers reduced licensing fees if you use their ISA, CPUs, GPUs, interconnects, etc, together), but it should reduce time-to-market as well, as you're using components which are explicitly designed to work together. Huawei get Kirin chips out with the newest ARM CPUs and GPUs incredibly quickly, and I'm sure the fact that they're almost entirely reference ARM SoCs helps that a lot.

That's a difficult thing for ImgTech to compete with. Perhaps they could have brought down prices, but they don't have any complementary offerings for anyone not interested in MIPS.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung pick them up. They've got an internal GPU team, but it doesn't seem to have been a huge success, with no sign of them in the mid or high end products. PowerVR gives them competitive GPUs right across their product range, and allows them to differentiate themselves more from the likes of Qualcomm and Huawei.
Panajev2001a
GAF's Pleasant Genius
(09-13-2017, 12:50 PM)

Originally Posted by Lonely1

BTW, 30% GPU power increase must be the smallest jump on an iOS generation ever...

Was it worth it?

It is a small jump, but they are making a lot of small changes to allow that power to be used better (Order Independent Transparency is a thing, the new Tile Shading step substituting Compute Shaders in Metal 2 should save a lot of bandwidth when data needs to be shared between fragment shaders and compute code and again to fragment shaders) and more efficiently.

Also, the custom hardware they added for machine learning (see Google TPU, nVIDIA Tensor Flow Units, etc...) may be used for nice things sooner or later ;).
Panajev2001a
GAF's Pleasant Genius
(09-13-2017, 12:52 PM)

Originally Posted by blu

I was facetious. I don't see a serious reason for them to ditch the most prolific ISA on the planet for the time being. As it is, apple have complete control over their uarch, while enjoying all the sw perks ARM community and ecosystem offer. Apple dropped 32-bit and can continue taking whatever makes the most sense for them from the standard.


The Chinese would snap them up for the right price, with a siding.

Apple has probably hired away a huge amount of talent... I feel bad as I always had a sweet spot for this GPU architecture.
Renekton
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(09-13-2017, 01:07 PM)
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Originally Posted by blu

Well, price is always subject to negotiations. And there's always chapter 11, of course. /shrug


They left for greener pastures. Which was perfectly justified back then. Where IMGTEC absolutely misjudged their course was neglecting all their other options for one big customer. That's a no-no.

Also QCOMM and ARM gradually ate IMGTEC's (non-fruit) lunch - QCOMM by never using anything but in-house tech, and ARM by releasing the fastest-advancing GPU IP in recent history. At the end of the day IMGTEC ended up as that one vendor of competitive GPU IP proven to work for just one customer.

That said, I don't see why their clients like MediaTek, Rockchip et al wouldn't gladly acquire them, see pricing conversation above.

Hmm I'm guessing Mediatek and similar companies would prefer to stick with Mali.
Lonely1
Member
(09-23-2017, 09:10 AM)
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Bought by an equity firm... this is a worst case scenario IMHO. :(

Apple GPU provider Imagination sells itself to private equity firm after losing contract

Imagination Technologies, the UK-based chip maker that used to provide Apple with its mobile graphics components, has agreed to sell itself to Canyon Bridge, a Silicon Valley-based private equity firm backed by the Chinese fund Yitai Capital. The news, first reported today by the Financial Times, comes nearly six months after Apple, Imaginationís biggest customer, announced that it would no longer require the companyís services. Canyon Bridge is paying £550 million ($743.2 million) for the deal.


Source
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-23-2017, 09:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by Lonely1

Bought by an equity firm... this is a worst case scenario IMHO. :(

Absolutely. I didn't expect that.
Lonely1
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(09-23-2017, 09:34 AM)
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Originally Posted by blu

Absolutely. I didn't expect that.

So, massive layoffs and patent trolling future? :S
hanspampel
Banned
(09-23-2017, 09:44 AM)

Originally Posted by Lonely1

Bought by an equity firm... this is a worst case scenario IMHO. :(



Source

not as much as i hoped, but still a nice gain over the current trading of roughly 50%
someone else bought in after the 70% drop?
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-23-2017, 09:45 AM)
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Originally Posted by Lonely1

So, massive layoffs and patent trolling future? :S

Quite likely.
Lonely1
Member
(09-23-2017, 10:16 AM)
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Btw, this also kills any hopes of a PSP3, as slims as they were.
blu
Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
(09-23-2017, 10:21 AM)
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Originally Posted by Lonely1

Btw, this also kills any hopes of a PSP3, as slims as they were.

The worst consequence is this leaves Arm as the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of mobile GPU IP.
Lonely1
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(09-23-2017, 10:23 AM)
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Originally Posted by blu

The worst consequence is this leaves Arm as the undisputed 800-pound gorilla of mobile GPU IP.

There's Qualcomm for full SoC, but yeah...
hanspampel
Banned
(09-23-2017, 01:54 PM)

Originally Posted by Lonely1

Btw, this also kills any hopes of a PSP3, as slims as they were.

why?
i mean the PSP3 was never a real possibility, but this sale does not change anything.
why wouldn't the sold company still license their IP?
Lonely1
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(09-23-2017, 02:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by hanspampel

why?
i mean the PSP3 was never a real possibility, but this sale does not change anything.
why wouldn't the sold company still license their IP?

Sure, they can still license their existing IP. I doubt they will continue meaningful development and, specially, support.

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