Imagination Technologies’ Wizard ray tracing tech promises a leap forward in mobile graphics

Imagination Technologies has unveiled a new graphics tech, which it claims is revolutionary in having an efficient enough power envelope to deliver "cinematic" levels of visual realism on mobile devices.

The new PowerVR Wizard CPU utilises ray tracing to bring elements such as photorealistic dynamic lighting, shadows, lifelike reflections and other advanced effects to mobile devices.

Imagination also notes that tech is highly scalable, and will translate to disruption beyond portable devices, and into games consoles and PCs (and indeed workstations). Yes, the company is certainly on its high horse when it comes to boasting about this one...

The Wizard tech is actually a version of the PowerVR Series6XT Rogue architecture with ray tracing enabled, and as such, developers will already be familiar with the new GPUs – which is obviously very handy in terms of the fact that there won't be a whole new system to learn.

The PowerVR GR6500 will be the first Wizard GPU to hit the market. With Wizard, Imagination claims that "patented custom hardware engines ensure the GPU's processor clusters are kept free to run sophisticated shaders, producing stunning results with minimal developer effort."

Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination, commented: "Imagination's highly efficient PowerVR GPUs have played a key role in driving the creation of entirely new categories of mobile devices. Now we are changing the game again by bringing the next level of realism to mobile and consumer devices. Our ray tracing IP is here, and it's ready for our licensees and developers to begin creating a new wave of immersive and exciting PowerVR-based consumer experiences."

In terms of ray tracing, the PowerVR GR6500 can apparently deliver 300 MRPS (million rays per second) and 100 MDTPS (million dynamic triangles per second) at 600 MHz. It boasts four Unified Shading Clusters, with 128 ALU cores delivering in excess of 150 GFLOPS (FP32) or 300 GFLOPS (FP16) at 600 MHz.

How big an impact Wizard will have is obviously pretty unclear at the moment – but certainly in the mobile gaming space, it would appear to be a very exciting development.