Midgard architecture for Embedded GPUs (Mali-T604 / Mali T658)

I’ve attended a webinar entitled “Harness the power and flexibility of the Midgard architecture for Embedded GPUs” presented Steve Steele, Product Manager at ARM Media Processing Division and sponsored by EETimes. Steve starts to talk about the current GPU architecture “Utgard” used in Mali-200, Mali-300 and Mali-400MP which allows resolutions up to 1080p and are used in many smartphones today including Samsung Galaxy S2 (Mali-400MP) which provides great graphics performance. He then explains how mobile devices are used today and what performance we may except in the future: Mobile As Main compute platform: New UI and Augmented Reality Social Networks and emails Content Creation/consumption 1 Device to multiple screen (e.g LCD screen and TV via HDMI) Evolving Processing Demand: Graphics Complexity multiplied by 25 Increase in screen size (1080p resolution support). Graphics API: Khronos OpenGL ES, Microsoft DirectX 11 Compute API: OpenCL, Renderscript Compute and Direct Compute. After this overview, he starts to talk about Midgard architecture and gives the […]

ARM Announces New Mali-T658 GPU

About one year ago, ARM announced the Mali-T604 GPU which has yet to be used in current products. Yet today, ARM announced an even more powerful GPU called Mali-T658 in Tokyo at Japan ARM Technical Symposium. Mali T658 is based on Midgard GPU architecture (as is Mali T604) which allows great GPGPU capabilities thanks to three types of pipeline (‘tri-pipe’) optimized repetitively for arithmetic, load/store and texturing. The GPU will also support standard graphics APIs such as Khronos OpenGL ES, OpenVG andMicrosoft DirectX® 11) as well as Compute APIs such as Khronos OpenCL (Full Profile), Google RenderScript compute and Microsoft DirectCompute. Performance-wise, Mali-T658 has twice as many shader cores and double the arithmetic pipelines per core which means the GPU can offer up to 10 times the performance of the Mali-400 MP GPU. On the compute side, Mali-T658 provides 4 times the processing power of Mali-T604. Mali-T658 will work with Cortex A7 and Cortex A15 processors either in standalone mode […]

ARM big.LITTLE Processing Demo

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ARM uploaded a big.LITTLE demonstration by Nandan Nayampally, Director, Product Marketing. The demo runs the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with graphs showing CPU usage and when Cortex A7 / A15 is running. At the beginning Cortex A7 handles the background tasks, and when they start the Android Browser, Cortex A15 is used instead to render the page and once this is done, the system switches back to Cortex A7. Scrolling the webpage will increase CPU usage, but this will still be handled by Cortex A7. They did not have to do any modifications to Android, but they just added a big.LITTLE aware Power Management Driver which will be open sourced and integrated in future version of the linaro kernel. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011. www.cnx-software.com

ARM Unveils Cortex-A7 and big.LITTLE processing

ARM unveiled the Cortex A7, a new core with higher performance than the Cortex A8 (1.5x) and with 5 times less power consumption. It will be used in conjunction with Cortex-A15 Core and allows big.LITTLE processing where the Cortex A7 (companion core) takes care of the low performance, low power tasks (social network, email, SMS, phone calls) and the Cortex A15 kicks in for high performance tasks such as video processing and gaming. Here’s an excerpt of the Cortex A7 / big.LITTLE processing press release: ARM today announced the ARM® Cortex™-A7 MPCore™ processor – the most energy-efficient application class processor ARM has ever developed, and big.LITTLE processing – a flexible approach that redefines the traditional power and performance relationship. The Cortex-A7 processor builds on the low-power leadership established by the Cortex-A8 processor that is at the heart of many of today’s most popular smartphones. A single Cortex-A7 processor delivers 5x the energy-efficiency and is one fifth the size of the […]