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PowerVR is a division of Imagination Technologies (formerly VideoLogic) that develops hardware and software for 2D and 3D rendering, and for video encoding, decoding, associated image processing and DirectX, OpenGL ES, OpenVG, and OpenCL acceleration.

The PowerVR product line was originally introduced to compete in the desktop PC market for 3D hardware accelerators with a product with a better price/performance ratio than existing products like those from 3dfx Interactive. Rapid changes in that market, notably with the introduction of OpenGL and Direct3D, led to rapid consolidation. PowerVR introduced new versions with low-power electronics that were aimed at the laptop computer market. Over time, this developed into a series of designs that could be incorporated into system-on-a-chip architectures suitable for handheld device use.

PowerVR accelerators are not manufactured by PowerVR, but instead their integrated circuit designs and patents are licensed to other companies, such as Texas Instruments, Intel, NEC, BlackBerry, Renesas, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Freescale, Apple, NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips Semiconductors), and many others.

Series 5 (SGX)

PowerVR's Series5 SGX series features pixel, vertex, and geometry shader hardware, supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 and DirectX 10.1 with Shader Model 4.1.

The SGX GPU core is included in several popular systems-on-chip (SoC) used in many portable devices. Apple uses the A4 (manufactured by Samsung) in their iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV. Texas Instruments' OMAP 3 and 4 series SoC's are used in the Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9", Barnes and Noble's Nook HD(+), BlackBerry PlayBook, Nokia N900, Sony Ericsson Vivaz, Motorola Droid/Milestone, Motorola Defy, Motorola RAZR D1/D3, Droid Bionic, Archos 70, Palm Pre, Samsung Galaxy SL, Galaxy Nexus, Open Pandora, and others. Samsung produces the Hummingbird SoC and uses it in their Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, Samsung Wave S8500 Samsung Wave II S8530 Samsung Wave III S8600, Meizu M9 and Nokia N9 devices.


The PowerVR SGX531 is an integrated graphics card that can be found in mostly ARM based SoCs (as MediaTek MT6577) for tablets and smartphones. It offers 2 pixel and 1 vertex shaders that are usually clocked at 200 MHz. The GPU supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and was announced in Oct. of 2006.

It is included in the MediaTek MT6577.

See also