Woodcliff Lake, NJ, April 17, 2014 -- A competitively small and low-power vector graphics processing unit (GPU) IP core is now available from semiconductor intellectual property provider CAST, Inc.
The ThinkVG Vector GPU IP Core offers full support of the OpenVG™ 1.1 vector graphics API. The company believes it is the smallest core to do so—using just 160K gates (excluding memories)—and that it is also the most energy efficient. This makes ThinkVG ideal for enabling scalable vector graphics formats (e.g., vector fonts, SVG images, PDF files, or Flash animations) or sophisticated user interfaces in low-power devices such as smart watches, handhelds, feature phones, e-readers, automotive displays, and GPS navigators. The core is in production and real-world-proven: a top-tier customer is already shipping high-volume consumer devices embedding the ThinkVG GPU.
Designed by graphics processing experts Think Silicon, Ltd., the area-saving ThinkVG is built around VShader, a single-instruction, multiple-data (SIMD) shader processor, with multiple floating-point units and internal instruction and data caches. The core includes graphics accelerators that handle rasterizing and texture mapping, and a small VLIW (very long instruction word) blending unit. Power savings come from the reduced idle power used by the small silicon area plus a proprietary frame buffer compression technique that minimizes external memory accesses, advanced power management features, and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS).
“With ThinkVG we’re bridging the gap between power-hungry GPUs and non-programmable hardwired graphics accelerators, providing a very compact and low-power solution for embedded devices that require fast vector graphics rendering,” said George Sidiropoulos, managing director of Think Silicon. “We focused on designing a Unified Shading Architecture assisted by a balanced hardware pipeline that achieves the highest throughput-per-gate ratio by means of high component reuse.”
ThinkVG comes complete with a software library implementing OpenVG 1.1 running on VShader, and with an API package that runs on the system host processor with an emphasis on minimizing CPU overhead by the use of command lists.
“This OpenVG vector GPU is the perfect solution for product designers wanting to give mid-range devices a high-end graphics feel with long battery life, great performance, and overall low cost,” said Nikos Zervas, chief operating officer for CAST. “We believe it beats competitors in silicon size and power consumption, while matching the best of them in 2D or basic 3D graphics capabilities and speed.”
The ThinkVG OpenVG IP Core is available now in RTL source code, with the software library and API package, drivers, a compiler, and other development aids. It is part of CAST’s royalty-free IP core and subsystem product line that features a growing family of GPUs and graphics accelerators, 32-bit processors and 8051s, H.264 and JPEG compression, system peripherals and interfaces, and more. Call CAST at +1 201.391.8300, visit www.cast-inc.com.