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Mobile graphics gets power-packed boost from ARM

Posted: 06 Feb 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ARM  mobile graphics  smartphone  GPU  Imagination 

With the goal of building up its own name in mobile graphics, ARM has gone head-to-head with Imagination Technologies and Qualcomm when it unveiled its Mali-T800 graphics cores. The family includes the Mali-T820, Mali-T830 and Mali-T860 GPUs, expected to start appearing in SoCs in the middle of 2015 and in handsets by early 2016. The Mali-T820 and Mali-T830 offer up to four shader cores, scaling to 16 shader cores in the Mali-T860 to serve a range of systems from smartphones to ChromeBooks, stated the company.

With its Mali-T800 graphics core family, ARM has a new weapon in its ambitious goal of winning designs in more than 600 million SoCs in 2015. There's no clear way at this point to measure exactly how the new cores stack up against heady competition from Imagination, Qualcomm and others, but it's a safe bet ARM will expand its market share in graphics this ear.

The Mali-T820 claims to provide up to 40 per cent more performance density compared to the Mali-T622 GPU. The Mali-T830 strikes a balance of performance and efficiency, delivering up to 55 per cent more performance than the T622. The T860 is for the most demanding consumers who want a great visual experience on their mobile device, providing high performance and 45 per cent more energy-efficiency compared to the T628.


ARM's high-end Mali-T860 offers up to 16 shader cores.

All the cores support the latest APIs including OpenGL ES 3.1, DirectX 11, OpenCL and RenderScript. They include advanced features such as lossless compression with AFBC and Smart Composition for input bandwidth reduction.

ARM said it now has 100 Mali licensees who shipped more than 500 million chips in 2014. It claimed that Mali is the number one graphics core in Android devices, appearing in 50 per cent of all Android tablets, and 20 per cent of all Android smartphones. Last year, more than 95 per cent of the Mali cores shipped in SoCs next to one of the ARM Cortex-A series processors.

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