The Apple iPhone 5 and the iPad 2 could be using a new graphics core, the PowerVR SGX543, provided by Imagination Technologies and launched back in January 2009.
Apple Insider says that reliable sources inform that Apple will have a system on chip (SoC, either A5 or A8) that will use the SGX543 rather than the ageing SGX535 which has been powering the iPhone since the 3GS.
The SGX543 is the first graphics processor IP core that is based on Imagination's new PowerVR Series5XT architecture, one that can support multi-core and boasts some impressive performance figures, such as 35 million polygons per second and 1Gpixels per second fill rate at 200MHz using one core.
In comparison, the SGX535 found inside the iPhone 4 is said to be clocked at 200MHz with a pixel fill rate of 500 million pixels per second and the ability to move 28 million polygons per second.
An eight-core SGX543MP8 clocked at 400MHz will be able to deliver 532 million polygons per second and a fill rate of more than 16Gpixels per second. Imagination Technologies says that up to 16 SGX543 can be combined on a single SoC and interestingly refers to the SGX543MP as a GP-GPU solution.
Apple is rumoured to go from one core to two cores, possibly for the SGX543MP2, a solution that will deliver almost twice the amount of a single SGX543 transparently with very little power overhead (both in terms of dissipation and power consumed).
The clock speed is likely to be doubled as well to 400MHz which means that the iPhone 5 (and iPad 2) graphics may be up to four times faster than the current model; oddly enough, rumours have pointed to a quadrupling of the onscreen resolution for the next generation iPad tablet.