4K with PowerVR Support Might be a Part of Future iPhones With Furian GPU Tech

by on March 10, 2017

Stephan Jukic – March 10, 2017

Imagination Technologies, the company behind the Rogue GPU architecture that is the basis for  graphics processing in the iPhone 7 from Apple, has announced that it’s developing a new PowerVR graphics technology which will be designed to give Apple’s future iPhones and other mobile device a major boost for both 4K graphics and smooth, effective virtual reality.

The new Furian GPU architecture is the first major GPU development from Imagination Technologies since Rogue was released in 2010 and according to its designers, it sets up future iPhones for virtual reality and other graphics-intensive applications that will also involve 4K UHD resolution. Furian is more immediately slated for implementation in new PowerVR GPUs like the Series8XT from the brand.

PowerVR Furian Architecture-Launch_RC2.3-21

As of this writing, Furian has already been licensed out for use by select device makers and Imagination expects it to emerge in smartphones by the end of 2018. Since Apple is expected to modify PowerVR graphics architecture for its subsequent iPhones, the graphics capabilities of Furian might also appear in 2018 iPhone models.

Today’s iPhone 7 comes packed with a GPU that’s based on the PowerVT GT7600 graphics processing design which comes originally from Imagination Technologies’ Rogue GPU. This iPhone 7 GPU comes with up to six cores and can operate at 900MHz, with short-term scaling capacity for graphics performance boosts. There are also Android phones on the market with PowerVR technology in them. Notable examples of this being some of Samsung’s mobile devices.

What Furian is promising to do is deliver shorter processing pathways, a larger number of graphics cores and the capacity for performance scaling for longer time-frames. The Furian GPUs are also more compact, efficient and capable of better clock rates. This means considerable graphics handling boosts to whatever near-future mobile devices implement Furian.

And of course, with all these graphics processing improvements, there will be support for 4K video. At least in part because of this, the Furian GPU architecture is also designed to work with PCs and VR headset devices.


The difference in power between Rogue and Furian has no small margins either. The new GPU technology for mobile devices and other machines delivers 35% more performance overall than Rogue and for gaming in particular is expected to be as much as 90% more efficient. A basic metric of this lies in the fact that Furian can scale as many as 60 clusters while Rogue only handles 12.

There are of course also major rivals to Imagination Technologies and its new GPU technology. Some of these are already major names in the development of processing for today’s cutting edge smart devices and mobile phones. Mali, Qualcomm and even NVIDIA are pushing their own technologies, though NVIDIA focuses more on PC video processing and 4K graphics handling though it could easily move into mobile device GPUs. Qualcomm in particular is making major 4K phone graphics inroads through its newer Snapdragon SoC chipsets with one of the latest and best being the SnapDragon 835, found in the new Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 4K phone.

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