Samsung will continue to licence ARM Mali GPU architectures for use in upcoming Exynos chips


Samsung announced today via press release that it will continue to licence Mali GPU designs from ARM. Over the past few years, ARM's GPU architectures constantly made in their way in the bigger part of Samsung's Exynos chips, and it looks like the company has no plans to break its pattern anytime soon.

Under this new, long-term agreement, ARM will licence multiple Mali GPU architectures to Samsung, ranging from the high-end Mali-T880 that is probably going to end up powering devices in the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note line-ups, to the power-efficient Mali-T820 and T830, and on to the mid-range Mali-T860 GPU core. Furthermore, Samsung has also secured rights to use upcoming GPU cores that ARM has yet to announce.

The Exynos 7420, the chip that powers the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge, uses an octa-core ARM Mali-T760 GPU. According to ARM, the Mali-T880 comes with 1.8 times the number crunching ability while consuming 40 percent power at the same load compared to the Mali-T760.

Just yesterday, a leaked benchmark result revealed that Samsung is working on a new power-efficient chipset called the Exynos 7850, one that will make use of a Mali-T720 GPU.

Samsung was previously rumored to be looking into creating custom GPU cores, but this recent announcement might indicate that it will be a while before the company challenges ARM on this front. At the very least, it's a sign that Samsung is still going to be dependent on ARM - the world's most popular IP licensor of mobile GPU designs - for the foreseeable future. In 2014, global shipment levels of chips with ARM GPUs reached the 450 million mark.

source: Samsung

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18 Comments

1. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

This doesn't mean that their custom GPU is a long way from challenging the MALI. This just means that they have all their bases covered just like they always have. They used all three major gpu's before including a powervr one. I forgot which handset used it though.

3. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

Galaxy S4 i9500 Used an Exynos 5410 with PowerVR SGX544MP3

4. waddup121 unregistered

This is good. This is great!

2. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Yeah Samsung used one of the power vr GPUs in the Exynos version of the GS4. I am not sure how that turned out because I never owned a GS4, let alone the Exynos version but I would assume that it wasn't as powerful as Apple claimed pushing 1080p and Android vs 640p and IOS. Since they never used power vr again since.

5. TyrionLannister unregistered

I had the exynos S4 and it did pretty well, on par or better than the adreno 320 on snapdragon 600.

9. Shocky unregistered

The PowerVR version was okay at best, the Snapdragon 600 was definitely faster, Thankfully Samsung have put a lot of money into SoC development since then and things have improved.

8. Shocky unregistered

Good move overall, but I do wish they would make a deal with nvidia and help develop a mobile SoC using Maxwell/Pascal. I

15. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nividia GPU in the SOC they make is probably the best GPU you can get so yeah if they would use it they would really really have a great GPU. The one in the Nvidia K1 destroy everything else currently.

11. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

T-880 in note 5? That would be great but Wikipedia shows release in (Q2) next year.

12. emcdonald75

Posts: 166; Member since: Nov 07, 2012

I am trying to determine which GPU is the best: Mali, PowerVR or Adreno? Apple uses the PowerVR GPU and they have many games come out on iOS first. Is this because of the OS, the GPU or the fact that Apple use their Metal API? Android has AEP, but games don't come out first on Android or even supported by Android unless we are speaking of nVidia exclusives. All of this fragmentation is very confusing. It seems that all GPUs are capable of great things, but only certain games or apps support certain ones. Is the Vulkan API the answer to end the fragmentation among OSes, GPUs and various platforms?

13. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

This year, unless you count the power hungry power vr one in the iPad Air 2 or the Nvidia k1 that are designed specifically for tablets with large batteries, the Andreno 320 in the 810 is actually the best one. Although real world performance is mixed. GTA runs better on the M9 but Dragon Quest runs better on the GS6. In the end, get a PS4 or a gaming PC for those types of games. Anything can run plants vs zombies 2 type games just fine, even my 3 year old Nexus 10.

17. renz4

Posts: 319; Member since: Aug 10, 2013

what matters is gpu vendors to double their effort in providing better drivers. in this area probably only nvidia really serious about it. other vendor just get satisfied as long as they can tops the benchmark score. that's why adreno 330 easily beat tegra 4 gpu in raw performance but once running real application tegra 4 will have much smoother experience.

16. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

The Mali t760 I use on both note 4 sm-n910c and S6 edge and the plenty powerful much better than adreno 430 on the SD 810 and heat less

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