ARM Announces New GPU for High-Performance Devices

The Mali-T658 is based on a multicore design, said by the firm to optimize performance while ensuring energy-efficiency. The design enables the GPU to work alongside ARM Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors, while its ability to carry on graphics processing and reduce CPU loads makes it a good fit for working alongside big.LITTLE CPU systems.

The GPU can scale up to eight cores, and is built to use the "right processor for the right task," handling GPU and CPU compute tasks in parallel.

"Following the recent introduction of big.LITTLE processing and the ARMv8 architecture, the launch of Mali-T658 is another example of how ARM is seeking to redefine heterogeneous computing for the embedded space," said Jon Peddie, president of specialist graphics research consultancy at Jon Peddie Research, in a statement. "This will provide high-performance graphics and compute systems for low-power applications."

ARM claims the Mali-T658 GPU delivers up to 10 times the graphics performance of the Mali-400 MP GPU and four times the GPU compute performance of the Mali-T604 GPU. These advancements are said to enable use cases beyond traditional graphics processing, such as computational photography and image-processing.

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"Next generation consumer devices based on the Mali-T658 GPU will address the growing user expectation for slick user interfaces and desktop-class graphics," said Pete Hutton, general manager, Media Processing Division at ARM, in a statement. "Intuitive user interfaces will mean that consumers can access the full functionality of their connected devices, for richer user experiences. This includes HD gaming and new compute-intensive applications, such as augmented reality."

While the Mali T-658 boasts graphical capabilities more advanced than those of its predecessors, the standard set of drivers found throughout the Mali GPU series will remain intact for this release, allowing for a fast time-to-market and minimized software upgrade costs, ARM said.