Nick Flaherty, Embedded Editor
EE Times Europe (10/10/2013 12:20 PM EDT)
The coming 20 nm and 16 nm FINFET will shake up the whole SoC and IP supply chain, says Tony King-Smith, executive vice president of marketing at Imagination Technologies at the International Electronics Forum in Dublin.
Imagination sees the GPU as the process driver, which is natural considering its heritage of the PowerVR 3D graphics technology, but also sees that the GPU is the scalable multi-core compute engine of choice for SoC, rather than the processor core. With many repeatable elements that support redundancy, the GPU is less vulnerable to process variability that will dominate SoC at 20 nm and 16 nm for the next few years.
But for Imagination the supply chain and ecosystem extends much further than just the silicon or even the embedded software. This emphasis on the GPU as the scalable element also drives changes all the way up to the user interface. Hence the announcement this week that Imagination is teaming up with Rightware on user interface design and benchmarking.
But the need for close collaboration for the SoC goes all the way up the chain, through the UI software to the portal software, such as Imagination’s Flow that runs in the cloud. All of this does impact the SoC design, which is somewhat counterintuitive.
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