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ARM touts OpenCL and DirectX 11 support in Mali T600 refresh

GPGPU and Windows RT possibilities
Mon Aug 06 2012, 17:44
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CHIP DESIGNER ARM has announced its second generation Mali T600 series GPUs for smartphones, tablets and televisions.

ARM's Mali GPU hasn't enjoyed quite the same widespread licensing as the firm's CPU architectures, however ARM has been iterating development quickly. The firm announced its second generation Mali T600 series GPUs bringing DirectX 11 and OpenCL support.

ARM's top-of-the-range Mali T678 GPU sports up to eight cores, supporting OpenGL, OpenCL 1.1 and DirectX 11, the latter of which means it might even end up in Windows RT tablets that are slanted to gaming. The firm didn't say anything about the Mali T678 being stuck into smartphones, though it does recommend mating the GPU with its range topping Cortex A15 CPU.

For more modest performance, ARM's Mali T624 offers one to four cores while the T628 offers one to eight cores. Both GPUs support DirectX 11 and OpenCL 1.1, with the firm expecting both chips to end up in smartphones and televisions.

Pete Hutton, GM of ARM's Media Processing Division said, "People expect higher standards of visual computing on their smartphones, tablets and smart-TVs with seamless access to their digital world and personal content. GPU compute enables this as it increases the range of functions mobile devices can perform within the available battery life. ARM continues to focus on system-wide optimization by integrating market leading CPU and GPU technologies to drive both high performance and energy-efficiency."

ARM has recently been pushing GPGPU in its Mali GPUs, hoping that its support of OpenCL will help its GPU business gain some of the ground it lost to Nvidia and Imagination in recent years. The company might have announced its next generation Mali T600 GPU designs but the champagne will remain on ice until its chip partners pick them up and slip them into high profile products. µ


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