SANTA CLARA, Calif. - At the ARM Technology Conference here on Wednesday (Nov. 10) , ARM Holdings plc rolled out a new graphics processing unit (GPU).
The Mali-T604 is ARM's fourth-generation GPU. It is currently available to license by lead partners. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which is already a licensee of the Mali graphic processor technology, will be the first ARM partner who can gain access to the Mali-T604.
Delivering up to five times the performance improvement over current Mali graphics processors, the Mali-T604 provides graphics performance with an energy-efficient profile, said Tudor Brown, president of ARM (Cambridge, England), at the event. (See interview with ARM Consultant Graphics Architect Edvard Sorgard below).
The Mali GPU family scales ''from the smallest GPU in the world'' through scalable multicore solutions for high frame-rate HD devices, according to ARM. The Mali-T604 is the first member of a new family of GPUs based on the Midgard architecture, which is based on a common software driver.
The Mali-T604 reduces memory bandwidth consumption by up to 30 percent. It exploits ARMís Cache Coherent Interconnect (CCI-400) to deliver a memory coherent system with the recently announced Cortex-A15 MPCore. It extends API support to include full profile Khronos OpenCL and Microsoft DirectX.
Separately, ARM also introduced the CoreLink 400 series of AMBA 4 protocol-compliant system IP. The CoreLink 400 series complements the new ARM Mali-T604 and Cortex-A15 high performance processors. CoreLink 400 system IP enables designers to resolve the critical issues of coherency, virtualization, latency and power management to ensure each processor is able to share memory resources and maximize overall system performance.
It also announced the availability of the ARM Cortex-A9 processor optimization packs (POPs). POPs leverage ARM's Artisan physical IP to ''enable customers to achieve technology leading performance or power targets on their Cortex-A9 implementations in the shortest time to market,'' according to ARM. A silicon-proven POP is available now on TSMC's 40-nm G process technology. The Cortex-A9 POP on TSMC 40-nm LP process technology will be available to customers in January 2011.
ARM also announced an optimization package for the Cortex-A9 processor, targeting Samsung's 32-nm LP High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. This ARM Processor Optimization Pack (POP) provides a foundation for implementing Cortex-A9 processors in low power, mobile applications. The Processor Optimization Pack enables operation over 1-GHz, and is available for immediate licensing from ARM.
With many operatating on a 2 year cycle for mobile units (dictated by the cell phone provider contract "sweet spot"), We can go ahead and update today and be ready in two years when this hits the streets in products... Samsung's plan appears to be to get in the middle of all mainstream products and do it better (AKA cheaper) than everyone else...Seems to be working for them so far.