Unlike most smartphones, Apple uses a chipset of their own make which has debuted in the company’s iOS devices, versus other manufacturers who typically goes with Qualcomm’s offerings.
However with a chipset of their own making, Apple has more control about what goes in it, such as its GPU where Apple has typically favored Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR. Recently the company has unveiled a new version of its PowerVR graphics architecture which has many speculating could eventually make its way into future iOS devices.
As it stands, Apple uses the PowerVR G6430 graphics package from Imagination in the company’s latest A7 chipset which powers devices like the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and Retina iPad mini, so without doubt Imagination’s latest version of PowerVR, the G6500, would be a step up over its predecessor.
So what so great about this new PowerVR chip from Imagination? Well for starters the company is boasting about its ray tracing capabilities which will be able to offer up “ultra-realistic shadows, reflections and transparency at no extra cost”. They also claim that ray tracing will help to improve game AI where characters in a FPS game can start to “see” and “understand” the environment around them.
Apple has yet to comment or confirm that they will be adopting the new PowerVR GPUs in future iOS products, but given Apple’s history with the company, we wouldn’t be surprised if they did. However it should be worth noting that the new GPUs by Imagination will not be available until 2015, meaning that they will most likely not debut in the iPhone 6 or any subsequent iPad upgrades this year.