Imagination Technologies launches IMG Labs

Imagination Technologies has announced IMG Labs to develop new, advanced semiconductor products. Keeping an initial focus on AI, GPU, heterogeneous compute, and ray tracing, this new division will be headed by Tim Mamtora, Chief of Innovation, Imagination Technologies. At IMG Labs, Imagination Technologies will be working towards understanding and accelerating future trends in the semiconductor industry, thereby innovating licensable technologies and products for its partners.

Tim Mamtora has joined Imagination Technologies in February 2021. He comes with 14 years’ experience at Broadcom that includes the role of technical ASIC lead for VideoCore GPUs, creating and managing flagship set-top box SoCs, a decade of experience architecting and designing graphics processors, etc. Tim holds an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School and an MEng degree from the University of Cambridge.

IMG Labs team comprises of serial inventor Simon Fenney, Research Fellow, author/co-author of over 50 patents in the field of rendering hardware, texture and image compression, and mathematical operations; Clifford Gibson, VP GPU Architecture; Steve Mackenzie, VP Systems and SoC Architecture; and Alex Pim, VP of AI Research and Architecture who leads on applied AI and high-performance computing.

With this skilled research team and a rich portfolio of processor IP, Imagination is going forward to fulfill its commitment to developing commercial IP products for its customers.

Mamtora says, “Heterogeneous compute is a key element of Imagination’s strategy going forward and a strong focus for IMG Labs. Increasingly our customers want to accelerate a variety of workloads with flexible arrays of processors, all the while operating within challenging power and bandwidth budgets.”

Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research, says, “Imagination has a pedigree of delivering world-first, best-in-class technologies that have inspired the semiconductor and silicon engineering sectors. These advancements have been at the cornerstone of millions of critically important systems across myriad disciplines with thousands of partners. Those partners have produced revolutionary 3D GPU technology, and multi-award-winning neural network acceleration. The company has also been a leader in advanced automotive GPU IP. IMG Labs will enable Imagination to carry on with its pipeline of innovation while continuing to help their customers to differentiate.”

Deeper into IMG Labs

Imagination Technologies says that a key part of IMG Labs is Strategic Technology Research, a cross-functional horizon-scanning initiative to anticipate trends and identify disruptive innovations for more detailed investigation. Second-level research groups contextualize these trends, establishing how to harness the value of new technologies to meet future customer needs.

  • AI: As the next wave of AI takes hold, research and architectural staff within the AI teams will analyze industry verticals, collate customer requirements, and anticipate high-performance compute trends—all in preparation for the conception and implementation of new and innovative solutions that give Imagination customers that competitive edge.
  • GPU: The demand for high frame rate, high-fidelity graphics continues to grow across a variety of segments. IMG Labs stands ready to stretch what is possible through novel compression techniques, industry-leading functional safety and exceptional power and bandwidth efficiency.
  • Heterogeneous compute: Modern systems are comprised of numerous dedicated processors and are required to support a plethora of workloads. By helping customers take advantage of the compute power at their disposal while retaining the flexibility to meet ever-greater demands, IMG Labs ensures every ounce of performance can be extracted from its network of IP cores, with optimal efficiency.
  • Neural network acceleration: With 18 patents filed in relation to the IMG Series4 NNA, IMG Labs is set to be a novel solutions powerhouse, pushing the IP envelope with its patents, white papers, architectural proposals and regular blog post updates for the machine learning community. Whether it’s ADAS for the automotive industry, natural language processing and speech synthesis for data centers, or low-power, low-area, high-performance inferencing at the edge, IMG Labs will drive patented solutions directly into the engineering group, allowing them to deliver unique, high-quality, and award-winning products.
  • Ray tracing: With more than 15 years of experience and over 250 patents filed, Imagination is the ideal partner to commercialise this ground-breaking technology. IMG Labs combines this pedigree with world-class AI expertise to bring unparalleled solutions to customers in both mobile and desktop segments. Imagination’s Ray Tracing Levels System white paper continues its thought-leadership position, educating the industry on the varying capabilities of the ray tracing offerings available in the market today.

There is a whitepaper available on Imagination Tensor Tiling. The technology tiles tensors together into groups, enabling them to be processed much more efficiently, which, in combination with the on-chip memory in the IMG Series4 neural network accelerator (NNA), provides a significant reduction in power consumption, as well as providing silicon area savings to reduce costs. Click here to read about Reduced Operation Set Computing (ROSC) and how it can help AI and compute solution providers stay ahead of the divergence in machine learning technologies and a continually evolving software landscape.