Mobile Devices

February 26, 2013

Imagination Technologies Calls for Greater Power Reduction Efforts in Mobile Industry

More people are getting their news, updating their social media statuses and watching movies and TV on mobile devices, but doing all of these things saps battery power. Imagination Technologies has called for the industry to improve on power consumption.

"The industry needs a call to action to acknowledge the realities of low power and thermal requirements in end user products running real software, not development boards just running benchmarks," said Tony King-Smith, executive vice president of marketing for Imagination.

"Everyone talks about the importance of power management, and that's an area where the best in the industry have really drawn ahead of the pack by adopting technologies and developing design approaches that support sophisticated power management in SoCs (System on a Chip)."

Laboratory benchmarks employed by hardware manufacturers to make claims about power consumption don't reflect real-life conditions, says King-Smith.

"Unfortunately benchmarks used for system performance measurement rarely take account of power use even though this is a key factor in all modern designs. We are working closely with the benchmarking industry to address this in future benchmarks and are encouraging everyone in the industry to take into account power under real end product operating conditions when considering performance metrics," he said.

Imagination does design for low-power applications, including Smart TVs, automotive systems and portable devices, becoming a major supplier of GPUs to these markets.

The PowerVR Series 6 GPU uses PowerGearing scaling and management, as well as a housekeeping processor that manages the power control in the chip, including power gating and Dynaniv Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS).

The company's power management efforts extend to its other products as well. The MIPS processor uses hardware thread management and DVFS in its processor cores, while Ensigma communications cores use ultra-low clock PHY modulation and coding processors.

The Korean website Playwares has shown that tablets using PowerVR have 20 percent less energy consumption than other devices.

Edited by Braden Becker

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