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ARM releases Mali T658 GPU for Cortex A7 and A15 SoCs

Bringing a bit more GPGPU to smartphones
Thu Nov 10 2011, 11:41

CHIP DESIGNER ARM released its Mali T658 GPU for its Cortex A7 and Cortex A15 system-on-chip (SoC) silicon.

Alongside ARM's Cortex processing cores the firm has been aggressively pushing its line of Mali GPUs, with the firm claiming its new Mali T658 provides 10 times the performance of the previous generation Mali 400 MP GPU. The Mali T658 supports high level GPGPU languages such as OpenCL, Google's Renderscript and Microsoft's Directcompute, but most importantly it also supports OpenGL and DirectX 11.

ARM touts its Cortex A7 and Cortex A15 SoC processors as the perfect companions for the Mali T658, even in its new ARMv8 Big-Little architecture, claiming the GPU can scale to eight cores. The firm claimed that the Mali Job Manager can send the right task to the right core, passing those that are better served by the GPU to the Mali core rather than waste time and more importantly energy on the CPU cores.

ARM's support for Microsoft's DirectX 11 is a nod towards the impending arrival of Windows 8 running on ARM-based systems. The firm knows that for Windows gaming, DirectX support is an absolute must if it is to stand any chance of scoring significant games developer attention.

ARM is pitching the Mali T658 for use in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as televisions. The firm cited Fujitsu, LG Electronics, Nufront and Samsung as supporting partners for the GPU chip.

In related news, ARM also announced that its co-founder and president Tudor Brown will retire after 21 years of service. Brown's role as president moved him away from the engineering side of the business that he led for many years and into relationship building with partners, which he did exceedingly well. µ


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