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Samsung develops a programmable mobile GPU

Using the ARM v7 architecture
Wed Feb 20 2013, 13:39
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SAN FRANCISCO: KOREAN CHIP DESIGNER Samsung spent Tuesday here at ISSCC showing off its first GPU that's programmable in OpenCL and OpenGL as well as DirectX, which is part of a processor based on an ARM v7 architecture.

Samsung measured that a 30fps HD 1080p stream can be encoded or decoded by the CPU when it runs at 1.6GHz - and thus consumes a lot of power. If you move the task to the GPU, then the GPU can perform the same task running at only 160MHz, resulting in 10 times lower power consumption.

The maximum speed of the GPU is 333MHz, supporting 60fps HD 1080p processing when running at full tilt.

The ARM v7 based processor with the programmable GPU developed by Samsung supports OpenCL and OpenGL as well as DirectX.

During its presentation Samsung mentioned that this integrated processor offers sustained rates of 72.5 gigaFLOPS for GPGPU computing and 240 MP/s for image signal processing.

These results are quite impressive and tally well with the vision outlined in AMD SVP Lisa Siu's speech on Monday promoting the idea of taking a unified approach to programming CPUs and GPUs.

According to Samsung, this GPGPU is groundbreaking for several reasons, including a low-power dedicated hardwired accelerator for multi-format codec (MFC), an advanced GPGPU-ready 3D graphics core, cross optimisation of each domain of the hardware accelerators, enhanced memory system performance, and a low-power design and process technology based on a 32nm low-power HKMG process.

This experimental ARM v7 chip is likely to give competitors such as Apple a run for their money. µ

 

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