Intel’s upcoming Cedar Trail platform may use PowerVR graphics instead of Intel graphics. The folks at VR-Zone got their hands on a leaked slide which shows that the next-generation Intel Atom chips could use PowerVR SGX545 graphics with support for DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0.
The graphics core could run at clock speeds of 400 MHz or 640 MHz and offer 2D and 3D graphics acceleration with support for MPEG4, VC1, WMV9, and H.264 hardware video acceleration. The graphics core supports HDMI 1.3a and DisplayPort 1.1 output.
PowerVR SGX545 isn’t exactly bleeding edge, but it should provide better graphics performance than the current GMA 500 and GMA 600 graphics used in existing Atom chips.
As we saw the other day, it looks like Cedar Trail chips will be able to support up to 4GB of DDR3 memory. Most Atom chips on the market right now top out at 2GB of RAM.
via UMPC Portal
I guess somebody spotted this and now it’s echoing all over the net today. If you bothered to read the details about Cedar Trail that were announced last week, then you would have noticed that the new GPU parts were obviously related to the GMA 500 lineage.
People should proceed cautiously in their comments about this. Yes, Linux-support for the GMA 500 has been a debacle, but it’s been Intel’s fault only to the extent that Intel put itself in the position where it didn’t have enough control over a product to give the support that it pledged. You can pretend like this won’t happen on other platforms, but my understanding is that support for various Windows versions has been tough to come by through some OEMs as well. You need to not think like a child about technology. Software is like laundry: it’s never actually done. Having a driver available is a lot different than having a driver that is consistently maintained, which means consistent updating and available upgrades. You’re not buying a shovel.If you don’t think that the Intel’s failure to adequately support Linux isn’t a big deal, then you probably didn’t realize that Intel has been working on a distribution of Linux called MeeGo. The whole point of that project is to shorten the product development and release cycles for its hardware ODM partners, and it’s pretty weird that Intel can’t support the hardware platform that its supplying to those partners with the operating system that its supplying them. That’s sort of a big deal.There is probably one of two causes at work here. Either Intel is looking for lower power consumption and higher performance in its mobile GPU in a “I must have this now and can’t wait” kind of way and is willing to throw all caution to the wind in order to secure it, or Intel has struck an agreement with the IP holders that gives them enough confidence in their ability to support all platforms that they’re willing to pull this third-party technology much deeper into their hardware platforms. Intel has already tripped over this GPU, and I’d be surprised if they’ve moved into a position where they’ll now fall. Something must be different this time.Finally, nobody seems to be pointing out that AMD is headed in the opposite direction. They’ve recently announced their intention to support coreboot, the open replacement to BIOS. For any OEM/ODM that wants an easy path to market for its devices, AMD is becoming increasingly appealing, and it’s also part of the MeeGo consortium. In the interest of full disclosure, I have never ever purchased an AMD product, and I have never ever purchased anything from Intel’s Atom series. If this announcement does represent little more than Intel’s intention to degenerate Atom into a “bundled platform” like so much of the ARM garbage (and in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve purchased and developed for all kinds of ARM hardware) that’s out there, then in the future I’ll only be looking toward AMD for mobile solutions.
I think Intel does this so people will stop badmouthing their integrated graphics efforts.
Compared to Poulsbo, they’re great.
If you think this is a good idea, then look into the huge pain-in-the-butt that driver support was, and to some degree still is, with the Poulsbo chipset, which licensed the powervr sgx535 core.
It’s a pain in the butt if you’re on of those who tried using Linux on them.
For Windows it works just fine and you get hardware accelerated video, something even the GMA 3150 core doesn’t do.
3rd party driver support is usually iffy and was for the GMA 500 but I think there is a push to fix that short coming now. Especially since these chips have started going into more main stream products. Like the MP (multi-core) variant of the SGX 543 is going into the new PSP2 and has already gone into the iPad2.
The PSP2 will be getting the SGX 543 MP4 (4 cores), which has been compared to PS3 level performance, and the iPad has the SGX 543 MP2 (dual core). Anandtech has already benched the iPad 2 and shown it has 2-5x the performance of the Tegra 2 graphically.
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