ARM Mali 1080p and 3D gaming mobile GPUs by end of 2009

Chris Davies - Mar 23, 2009
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ARM Mali 1080p and 3D gaming mobile GPUs by end of 2009

Chipset manufacturer ARM have outlined their vision for mobile gaming, describing products based on their Mali GPU platform that would be capable of 1080p HD resolution, offer 2D and 3D graphics and 4x and 16x full-scene anti aliasing.  ARM offers the GPU as a SoC (System-on-Chip), and is foreseeing Xbox 360-level video graphics on mobile devices by the end of 2009.

 

Mali is available in a variety of forms, from the Mali-55, which holds the record as the world’s smallest GPU, to the Mali-400 MP, which ARM call the “highest-performance embedded multicore GPU IP on the market.”  ARM have 27 current licensees, including Amlogic, Broadcom, EMP, FXI, LG, Micronas, Motorola, MTekvision, NXP, Pantech, RMI, Samsung, Siemens, Socle, ST, Telechips and Zoran, and various iterations of Mali are already in shipping products.

According to ARM,  they will demonstrate a cellphone port of original Xbox title Project Gotham Racing at the end of the year, to illustrate Mali’s capabilities.  1080p-capable commercial releases haven’t been dated.

Press Release:

ARM Outlines Vision for Next Generation of Mobile Gaming

Technology Leadership and Expanding Ecosystem Will Underpin Mass of Mali GPU-Enabled Market Leading Devices

CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom –(Business Wire)– Mar 23, 2009 ARM (LSE:ARM) (Nasdaq:ARMH), a company already synonymous with excellence in CPU design, continues to show success in delivering highest performance ARM® Mali™ graphics processing unit (GPU) technology and today outlined its vision for the next generation of graphics processing and mobile gaming against the backdrop of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.

ARM’s collaborative approach to graphics acceleration solutions, combining the strength of the Mali complete graphics stack with the reach of ARM’s Partner ecosystem, has led to widespread adoption of Mali technology by 27 licensees to date. The company continues to build on its success, delivering a wide range of powerful, easily configurable Mali graphics IP and working with leading silicon Partners, device manufacturers and content providers in gaming and graphics to bring a proliferation of Mali GPU-enabled mobile phones and consumer devices to market, with immediately available console-quality mobile gaming content, stunning user interfaces, advanced navigation applications and Web browsing.

“Gaming strategy and visually compelling applications are becoming increasingly important now that mobile handheld devices are so prolific, and the time has come to create innovative new gaming concepts,” said Borgar Ljosland, director of advanced product marketing for ARM’s Media Processing Division. “Today’s consumer devices are based on yesterday’s platforms, and there is a tremendous opportunity for a revolution in the gaming market that hinges on the collaborative efforts of IP providers, foundries and OEMs alike. Thanks to the strength of Mali in the GPU space, we are well poised to lead the charge to this next level and fully expect the vast majority of tomorrow’s consumer devices will be based on Mali technology.”

The Mali GPU family scales from Mali-55, the world’s smallest GPU, to Mali-400 MP, the highest-performance embedded multicore GPU IP on the market which supports complex gaming applications at up to 1080p high-definition resolution. This diverse offering addresses the widest range of performance points for all embedded graphics needs and enables ARM to lead in conformance to numerous open standards.

“ARM brought its first Mali GPUs to market in 2006 and combined this with an integrated graphics software stack, expanding its capabilities and broadening its total solution offerings for licensees,” said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. “This has posed serious competition to other GPU IP suppliers, and with ongoing product investment and Partner collaboration, ARM is primed to lead the next era of mobile gaming – an important task, considering that the quality, complexity and variety of games available for the broadening range of handheld devices is set to soar in the next couple of years.”

The company was among the first to create a market for licensable GPU IP in mobile and has the most widely deployed 3-D software engine (ARM Mali-JSR184) as well as graphics hardware delivered to system-on-chip (SoC) vendors in a wide range of target market segments. In order to achieve pervasiveness for the next wave of gaming and graphics processing, ARM is focused on expanding its already robust network of Mali technology licensees that already includes Amlogic, Broadcom, EMP, FXI, LG, Micronas, Motorola, MTekvision, NXP, Pantech, RMI, Samsung, Siemens, Socle, ST, Telechips and Zoran.

“We recognize huge potential in delivering a complete range of solutions for developers and OEMs, and have an extensive network of Partners and licensees that enables us to deliver the necessary hardware and software architectures for ultimate compatibility,” said Ljosland. “The focus on innovation and the future of the gaming industry at this year’s GDC fully aligns with our plan to shape the future of the graphics industry: a future that is underpinned by close partnerships with device manufacturers and software developers, enabling early access to the latest CPU and Mali GPU platforms to differentiate and lead in an increasingly competitive market.”

Mali GPUs are easily integrated into ARM’s overall system design approach, where interconnect, cache, CPUs and software are incorporated into chip design pre-silicon to ensure high quality, media-rich experiences. There are currently more than 80 million Mali graphics technology-enabled phones in the marketplace, including the widely available LGE Renoir handset, enabled by the Mali-55 GPU and ARM CPU, employing Mali GPU acceleration to drive the phone’s innovative Flash-based user interface.

As video becomes an increasingly important part of the consumer’s mobile experience, the need for flexible and scalable video solutions is rising. Complementary to the Mali graphics IP and part of the ARM multimedia portfolio is the highly flexible and scalable Mali-VE video encode and decode technology, for image resolutions from QCIF up to 1080p. Mali-VE solutions are also shipping in mass volume mobile handsets, where the optimum combination of high performance, efficient die size, programmability and low power consumption are key, delivering high quality visual displays.

Mali processors deliver stunning 2-D and 3-D graphics with 4x and 16x full scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) to “smooth” otherwise jagged lines without any noticeable drop in performance. In addition to providing content developers with the state-of-the-art programmable features in OpenGL ES 2.0, Mali products also support SVG and Flash through OpenVG for improved text, navigation, UI and Web-browsing experiences. Mali technology takes full advantage of complementary ARM products, including memory controllers, interconnect and peripherals, application and embedded processors, and Mali video engines, physical IP and embedded firmware to deliver a powerful and complete graphics experience on mobile phones, PDAs, GPS and STB devices, with sustained performance, very low power consumption and leading memory bandwidth usage for up to 1080p resolutions. For more information, please visit the ARM booth #5316 NH at GDC or find out more at http://www.arm.com/products/multimedia/graphics.


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