ARM holdings have today provided us with some details about the company’s upcoming Mali-450 graphics processor which is based on ARM’s Utgard architecture.
For anyone who is not familiar with ARM, the British company is based in Cambridge and is considered to be the market leader in the field of phone chipsets, in fact, its highly likely that the smartphone you are using at the moment will have an ARM designed chip powering it.
The company is arguably best known for its CPU designs; however the company also produce GPU’s as well. One of the company’s current GPU’s is the Mali-400, which is used to power many popular high-end smartphones currently on the market. The next generation though, the Mali-450, will be seen powering lower end and mid-range smartphones when released next year. The core of the Mali-450, codenamed Tyr, has a common software platform with the Mali-400 and according to ARM will provide a market-leading OpenGL ES2.0 performance. For the high-end smartphones, ARM is currently working on a new update to the Mali-6xx product line.
The 450 will offer up to twice the performance of its predecessor, meaning it can be scaled up to handle eight cores, compared to the Mali-400 which could cope with a maximum of four cores.
Steve Steele, who is the senior product manager in the media processing division, has said that the Mali-450 was not simply a doubling of the multicore scalability of the Mali-400. Instead tweaks had been done to the internal graphics engines “You would get better performance from the Mali-450 but it occupies slightly more area,”.
A presentation by ARM suggests that devices that don’t really require higher performance graphics should still use the Mali-400, while for mid-range devices that perhaps focuses on gaming or HD content use the Mali-450 to power the device.