ARM introduces new Mali-T800 GPU family for the devices of late 2015

ARM introduces new Mali-T800 GPU family for the devices of late 2015
With smartphones growing powerful enough to output near console-quality graphics and play ultra high-resolution (4K) video smoother than your laptop, it's hardly a surprise we're talking about their graphics accelerators much the same way we're discussing NVIDIA and AMD's latest benchmark-busting, electricity-gloating offerings. When the time our smartphones' parts become swappable and upgradeable comes, we'll be pretty much building portable PCs and arguing which smartphone GPU is best for the money.

Until then, let's have a look at the latest graphics line-up from ARM, maker of chip designs and the everlasting Mali-400 MP GPU, which still rocks inside an unfathomable number of cheap Chinese phones. It announced the new Mali-T800 GPU family, the Mali-V550 video accelerator, and Mali-DP550 display processor. The five new graphics units are designed for better performance & lower energy consumption, and will be coming to smartphones and tablets... not very soon, actually. ARM expects them to appear in consumer devices by early 2015. Still, you have the opportunity to become acquainted with them.

The Mali-T800 range - better performance, more efficiency

The ARM Mali-T800 GPU family constitutes the Mali-T820, T-830, and T-860 units. The Mali-T820 GPU is optimized for entry-level products, boasting up to 40 percent higher performance than the Mali-T622 GPU. Mali-T830 is the mid-range chip, capable of up to 55 percent higher performance than the Mali-T622 GPU. Finally, the Mali-T860 GPU crowns the family with high performance and 45 percent better energy-efficiency compared to the Mali-T628 GPU.

The ARM Mali-T800 GPU family supports the latest APIs including OpenGL® ES 3.1, DirectX® 11, OpenCL™ and RenderScript. The Mali-T820 and Mali-T830 offer up to four shader cores, and up to 16 shader cores in the Mali-T860.

The Mali-V550 video processor with full HEVC standard

ARM's new VPU has full support for the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) standard and is able to decode 1080p/60fps content on a single core, and up to 4K/120FPS when implemented in an octa-core GPU. It's also able to do simultaneous encoding and decoding, and supports motion search elimination for automatically turning motion search on or off in the video encoder. In short, your camera videos should encode faster, and look better than ever.

The Mali-D550 display driver

ARM's new display driver supports up to seven layers of composition for image rendering, which should enable users to benefit from more dynamic and immersive user interfaces. The processor can be scaled to handle 4K displays, and designers can add enhancements and filters like noise reduction and backlight adjustments directly within the internal display pipeline. This way, they no longer have to by-pass or circumvent the display processor.

So far, so good! It seems we have a fine list of graphics-related things to look forward to in 2015.

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