Mobile chipsets with PowerVR GPUs (graphics processing units) have a good tracking record of beating the competition in graphics performance, a tribute to the engineering expertise of their creator Imagination Technologies. On Wednesday, the British-based company unveiled a brand new GPU architecture called PowerVR Furian, the first major architecture upgrade since PowerVR Rogue which will be premiered in 2010.
These next-gen Furian graphics cards deliver big performance and power efficiency. Apple is a stakeholder and licencee in Imagination Technologies and has been using the PowerVR series in many of its products, so it is likely that the Cupertino company will utilize this new technology in the future. This means that the upcoming iPhones will be capable of supporting 4K graphics, higher-resolution gaming, demanding machine learning apps, enhanced augmented/virtual reality capabilities and demanding machine learning apps, all without breaking the battery bank.
Moreover, Apple's graphics chip in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is a custom-designed variant of the Series7XT Plus, and a lot of previous iPhone models are also based on PowerVR Rogue architecture, so it is reasonable to assume that next-gen iPhone models might use at least some of the PowerVR Furian architecture. Another report claims that Apple has 1,000 engineers and recruited at least two dozen employees from the chip designer, including former COO John Metcalfe, possibly to build out an in-house GPU team and working on an AR for a launch as early as this year with iPhone 8, with expected features including 3D mapping applications, camera features, and a development kit.
According to a source, Imagination Technologies highlighted some of its notable enhancements. It has been able to achieve with Furian such as 35% GFLOPS density improvement for improved computing and gaming performance efficiency, 80% fillrate density improvement for improved UI as well as casual gaming performance efficiency and lastly, 70-90% gaming density improvement for real-world application results with even better than the sum of the parts. Furthermore, Apple was actually rumored to acquire Imagination Technologies last year, however, it later said it did not plan to make an offer at the time.