Imagination announces a series of major updates

2 mins read

Imagination Technologies has released Version 21.1 of the PowerVR SDK and Toolkit, adding new features and ray tracing support enhancements to increase functionality and enhance the workflow across a variety of disciplines.

Available on the company's new Developer Portal accessing the full PowerVR tools suite is now easier and it has been designed specifically to support Imagination’s growing developer community. It contains new dedicated training materials, showcasing the versatility and features of the SDK.

Commenting Chris Smith, VP of Software Engineering, Imagination Technologies said, “With over 33% of all mobile handsets sold worldwide containing Imagination GPU IP and a strong presence in many other sectors, from DTV to the desktop space, we have a huge ecosystem of developers to support. The PowerVR Toolkit has always provided a robust and well-featured set of tools to allow developers to take full advantage of our IP innovations. Version 21.1 is no different and will provide the tools and support needed as we move into a new generation of ray traced graphics on mobile platforms."

The PowerVR SDK, designed to support all aspects graphics and GPU compute application development, now contains four code examples of ray tracing implementation. For the first time, the SDK provides a comprehensive example of how to efficiently deploy different ray tracing setups into projects and applications in development, ranging from the basic ray tracing algorithm through to hybrid reflections and shadows. (Ray tracing is a graphics rendering technique that brings graphics closer than ever before to photorealism.)

PVRRayTracingSimulation is a collection of Vulkan ray tracing layers that will allow the user to simulate the capabilities and behaviour of ray tracing enabled PowerVR hardware. This suite allows developers to test applications ray tracing features even with non-natively ray tracing enabled hardware..

PVRTune is Imagination’s hardware profiling and analysis tool. It provides hardware data and performance statistics as an application runs, allowing developers to quickly identify performance issues.

A new feature in Version 21.1 is Guided Analysis which streamlines the profiling process and lets developers know where to look to improve the application’s performance by providing advice on potential bottlenecks or areas of slowdown. This is based on the data captured by PVRTune and can significantly reduce the time needed to carry out performance optimisations.

There are also a number of smaller, new features such as an ability to include the mean, variance, and standard deviation of each counter to the CSV export and the much-requested WASD controls.

PVRTexTool is Imagination’s texture encoding and pre-processing tool which is designed to make it easy for developers to optimise application textures. In the latest version, HDR texture information can now be encoded in the PVR Texture Compression (PVRTC) format. PVRTC-HDR allows for higher fidelity textures without compromising on texture streaming bandwidth.

IBL Environment Map option has also been included, allowing for the generation of diffuse and specular maps for image-based lighting. The diffuse and specular map options are also available through the library, PVRTexLib.

PVRCarbon is Imagination’s API tracing and debugging tool for OpenGL ES and Vulkan, replacing PVRTrace. It is able to record, playback and analyse the application’s use of graphics APIs, giving developers insight into the correctness and behaviour of their applications. Major updates include added OpenCL support, standalone Android 10 GL ES recording and cross-API native buffer tracking and recording.