On the heels of yesterday’s Windows 8 demo, Imagination Tech has announced that it’s offering DirectX-capable graphics cores for both ARM- and x86-based system-on-a-chip products targeting the new OS. The firm, which develops and licenses graphics cores much like ARM does with CPU cores, points out that it’s "one of very few companies that has the experience of delivering DirectX for SoCs." The expansion of Windows toward ARM sounds like a golden opportunity for it. DirectX, of course, encompasses both 3D graphics capabilities and a broad selection of multimedia and video playback features.
Delving into specifics, Imagination Tech reveals that Texas Instruments has already licensed its PowerVR core for future OMAP system-on-a-chip products. Tablets running TI SoCs were on display at yesterday’s Windows 8 Computex keynote. Lest anyone forget, the integrated graphics component in Intel’s Z600-series Atom chips is provided by Imagination Tech. Intel uses a different IGP in desktop- and netbook-bound Atoms, but only the Z series is aimed specifically at tablets.
Imagination Tech goes on to note that most of its PowerVR cores support DirectX 9, while upcoming PowerVR Series6 cores (which are code-named Rogue) will "support from DirectX 10 up to DirectX 11." So, we might one day see DX11 Windows games scale from low-power slates to high-octane gaming PCs—an interesting prospect for sure.
I can’t resist pointing out Imagination Technologies is part-owned by Apple, and its graphics cores are used inside iPhones and iPads. Since those devices are also ARM-powered… Boot Camp for iOS, anyone?