GPU core supports multiple 4K screens

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A high performance four cluster GPU core from Imagination Technologies and based on the recently launched Furian architecture is said to support multiple ultra-high resolution displays being designed by automotive manufacturers into forthcoming models. According to the company, the GT8540 GPU can drive up to six 4K screens simultaneously at up to 60frame/s.

While target markets for the GPU include 2019 premium mobile phones and retro gaming applications, the biggest customer pool is high end automotive. Kristof Beets, director of PowerVR business development, said: “A key element for automotive companes is isolation. Previously, there were a lot of isolated systems, each with processor and memory. That cost too much.

“Their view is that if they could put in a bigger unit and drive everything centrally, that would be better. But the problem is that different screens have different workloads. This requires guaranteed performance and hence virtualisation.”

Imagination says PowerVR hardware virtualisation can provide complete separation of services and applications, ensuring they remain secure against system intrusion or data corruption. Up to eight applications or services can run in separate containers at once, with services able to be deployed or removed at will without affecting others.

“The GT8540 GPU can talk with VMs through replicated driver interfaces,” Beets explained, “with one for each domain. And, once the VM is running, the hypervisor is no longer involved.”

Responding to overhead concerns, the GPU can deal with multiple applications on a priority basis. “But a more advanced approach is deadline rendering,” Beets continued. “For example, if the dashboard needs 60frame/s, that can be scheduled and other workloads handled appropriately.”

In advance of the move towards multiple 4K screens in cars, the GPU supports such features as 16pixel per clock and 768 floating point operations per clock.