ARM is already gearing up for 2015 with its new line of Mali integrated media processors, or GPU’s. At the end of October this year, the British semiconductor company announced five new processors; the successors to its two leading GPU’s from last year, the Mali-T720 and the Mali-T760, one with a new design and two more other media related processors.
First up are the Mali T8 series of GPU’s. Three have been announced, which are the T860, T830 and T820. The T860 is no doubt the most performance intensive of the three, being a successor to last years Mali-T760. As Mali puts it, it brings the best performance for minimal power usage, even performing 45% better than the Mali-T628 which is manufactured similarly and when used in the same configuration. A key feature of the T860 is support for 10-bit YUV input and output, allowing it to support 4k displays. On top of that, it has support for a range of graphic and computing API’s including OpenGL ES 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.2/1.1, DirectX 11 and RenderScript Compute, making it rather versatile.
The Mali-T820 and the Mali-T830 can be considered the mid-range options with the same idea in mind, getting the best performance from the smallest silicon area possible. The T830 is the more powerful of the two, possessing two ALU cores per shader similar to the T860, while the T820 only has one per shader.
Apart from GPU’s, ARM has also announced two media processors; the Mali-DP550 and Mali-V550. The V550 is ARM’s first attempt at a video decoding display processor. It allows for hardware encoding and decoding of a range of formats including H.265, H.264, MP4, VP8, VC-1, H.263 and Real. It is also impressive in performance, with a single core capable of running 1080p content at 60 frames per second (fps) and when set in an eight core configuration, runs 4k content at 120 fps.
The Mali-DP550 is a display processor that also emphasizes energy efficiency, doing so without compromising on performance. It is capable of handling composition, rotation, scaling, post-processing and display output all in a single pass. It also allows for more flexibility in output enhancement, by enabling noise reduction, backlight adjustments and the like without having to bypass the display processor itself. More importantly, the DP 550 can be scaled up to handle 4k displays.
With its new lineup of Mali processors, ARM is looking to provide some serious competition in the mobile media processing industry.
Source: Android Authority