Graphics technology from Imagination Technologies is at the heart of the chip powering the latest iPhones from Apple.

Imagination has two design centres in the Bristol and Bath region, developing the latest multi-core and wireless technologies. The design of the six graphics cores used in the A10 Fusion system on chip in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is key to the new phone’s improved display and battery performance. The cores are based on Imagination’s PowerVR 3D graphics architecture which runs three times faster than the iPhone 6 while using half the power to give a longer battery life.

“The A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip on any smartphone”


“The A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip on any smartphone while delivering the best battery life ever in an iPhone,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Apple.


The higher graphics performance is needed as the HD Retina screen has a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, giving a 326ppi pixel density for the 4.7in iPhone 7 which can display up to 16 million colours.


The A10 also uses four processor cores based on the ARM architecture, with two high-performance cores and two low-power cores customised by Apple in a system ARM calls big.LITTLE. The processor and graphics cores all have to work together at clock speeds of 2.45GHz, which is a significant design challenge. While most of that work is handled in-house at Apple in the US, Imagination’s Bristol design centre is also a world-leading centre for multicore design.

The region has a strong heritage in multicore chip design, from the Inmos Transputer to XMOS today, and has hosted design centres for graphics companies such as 3DLabs.

Imagination also has a design centre in nearby Chepstow developing radio technology and low power communications cores for applications such as LTE and the Internet of Things.

You can see more at the Imagination Tech website or by following them on Twitter: @ImaginationPR