Apple iPad PowerVR SGX graphics confirmed

Apple have quietly confirmed that their iPad tablet is based on the same type of PowerVR SGX graphics hardware as the iPhone 3GS and current-gen iPod touch. Developers digging through the latest iPad SDK beta 3 documentation have found a paragraph comparing the iPad's graphics capabilities to other SGX-based hardware, including OpenGL ES support.

"Using OpenGL ES on iPad is identical to using OpenGL ES on other iPhone OS devices. An iPad is a PowerVR SGX device and supports the same basic capabilities as other SGX devices. However, because the processor, memory architecture, and screen dimensions are different for iPad, you should always test your code on an iPad device before shipping to ensure performance meets your requirements." Apple SDK documentation

Previous reports had suggested that the iPad might, in fact, use a less powerful GPU, which seemed at odds with the hardware available elsewhere in Apple's range.  This new information makes far more sense; Apple has made considerable investment into Imagination Technologies, the company responsible for the PowerVR SGX chips.

The GPU is combined into the custom Apple A4 chip, the 1GHz processor at the heart of the iPad.  For consumers it should mean similar gaming performance to an iPhone 3GS, while for developers it should mean a more straightforward process translating gaming titles and other graphics-intensive apps from the smartphone platform to the new tablet.

[via Everything iPad]