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ARM Reveals 8-Core GPU For Superphones

By - Source: ARM | B 36 comments

ARM has developed a new GPU for the mobile sector capable of rendering DirectX 11 graphics.

Thursday ARM revealed a new GPU built for high performance devices like superphones, tablets and smart-TVs. Called the ARM Mali-T658, this latest edition to the Midgard architecture-based GPU family promises to deliver up to ten times the graphics performance of the Mali-400 MP GPU which is found in a wide range of today's mainstream consumer products. It also promises four times the GPU Compute performance of the Mali-T604 GPU.

"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, ARM. "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."

Did you catch that key description desktop-class graphics? According to ARM, the GPU supports a wide range of graphics and compute APIs including Microsoft DirectX 11, Khronos OpenGL ES, OpenVG, Khronos OpenCL, Google Renderscript and Microsoft DirectCompute. That's right: a "superphone" GPU capable of rendering DirectX 11 graphics!

Thursday in a press release ARM said the new GPU has been designed to work with the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 processors either in standalone modes, or when they're combined in big.LITTLE processing mode.

"The autonomous nature of the Mali Job Manager, and its ability to carry on graphics processing with a reduced load on the CPU, means it is very well suited to work alongside a big.LITTLE CPU system," the company said. "By using the right processor for the right task the Mali-T658 is able to handle GPU compute tasks in parallel with the CPU handling the always-on always-connected tasks. The ability of the Mali-T658 GPU to scale up to eight cores provides unprecedented energy-efficiency, flexibility and scalability to match the CPU and GPU performance points through one coherent interface."

For more information on the new Mali-T658 GPU, head here.

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  • 20 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 11, 2011 3:28 AM
    nebunthis is very good news... how is it that mobile cpus are able to support dx11 yet consoles aren't?...this really boggles my mind

    um what? really? i cant tell if your being serious...you realize consoles have been out since 2005 right? that was before dx10 came out
  • 20 Hide
    AbdullahG , November 11, 2011 3:11 AM
    Wow...things move quicker than I thought in the hardware world.
  • 16 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 11, 2011 3:24 AM
    Can I run folding@home on it? :) 
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    AbdullahG , November 11, 2011 3:11 AM
    Wow...things move quicker than I thought in the hardware world.
  • 16 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 11, 2011 3:24 AM
    Can I run folding@home on it? :) 
  • 20 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 11, 2011 3:28 AM
    nebunthis is very good news... how is it that mobile cpus are able to support dx11 yet consoles aren't?...this really boggles my mind

    um what? really? i cant tell if your being serious...you realize consoles have been out since 2005 right? that was before dx10 came out
  • 9 Hide
    ltdementhial , November 11, 2011 3:34 AM
    danwat1234Can I run folding@home on it?


    yes you can...even maybe Crysis.

    on topic this is very good news a new competitor is emergin in both cpu and gpu market...altough this competitor has been around for a while they don't compete like VIA for example...ARM is doing what AMD took 30 years in just 4 if you start counting on the Smartphone era begining.

    Now the serious of this is that in a couple years event months we may be seeing ARM on both Best Graphic Card & Best CPU for the money benchmark's competing with AMD CPU's, AMD GPU's, Intel and Nvidia. ill just wait to when i got my son his Superphone and tell him how we have to run Frostbite-Like graphics on $3k PC's when he will using an $200 phone.
  • 4 Hide
    saturnus , November 11, 2011 4:15 AM
    Looking at the specification over at ARM, it does look like they take the term "desktop class" performance seriously. And this is still only meant for a mobile GPU being part of a SoC spec'ed to sub-2W average power consumption and 5W max.
  • 2 Hide
    saturnus , November 11, 2011 4:20 AM
    Zingam20 minutes standby, 10 talk time, 3 minutes web surfing, 1 minute video playback


    This is not Intel. It is ARM. Regardless of the ever increasing CPU and GPU capability, it is still today and will be in the future the screen that will take up the vast majority of the power consumption.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 11, 2011 4:23 AM
    Yes it will run crysis. Incredible.. Though it might need wine through Linux support ? Dx 11 emulation on Android? man imagine the possibilities....
  • -3 Hide
    lordstormdragon , November 11, 2011 4:23 AM
    What's annoying is that there are NO benchmarks here in this article, and no other data comparing these weak little toy GPUs to the big dogs. Modern GPUs in laptops, tablets, and desktops already have hundreds of cores... Literally, hundreds.

    And this article doesn't even mention clock speeds or memory bandwidths...

    ARM bringing an 8-core GPU to the market is just like Nvidia or AMD producing a new one marketed as "The Penny" or "One Single Cent". 1/100th the graphics power of existing tech? Pathetic.
  • 8 Hide
    festerovic , November 11, 2011 4:57 AM
    My 8-core phone wants to play Global Thermonuclear War, what should I do?
  • -4 Hide
    alidan , November 11, 2011 5:20 AM
    ltdementhialyes you can...even maybe Crysis.on topic this is very good news a new competitor is emergin in both cpu and gpu market...altough this competitor has been around for a while they don't compete like VIA for example...ARM is doing what AMD took 30 years in just 4 if you start counting on the Smartphone era begining.Now the serious of this is that in a couple years event months we may be seeing ARM on both Best Graphic Card & Best CPU for the money benchmark's competing with AMD CPU's, AMD GPU's, Intel and Nvidia. ill just wait to when i got my son his Superphone and tell him how we have to run Frostbite-Like graphics on $3k PC's when he will using an $200 phone.


    to get a phone for 200$ you have to spend 3500~ over the coarse of 2 years.

    saturnusLooking at the specification over at ARM, it does look like they take the term "desktop class" performance seriously. And this is still only meant for a mobile GPU being part of a SoC spec'ed to sub-2W average power consumption and 5W max.


    integrated is technically desktop class

  • 4 Hide
    alidan , November 11, 2011 5:21 AM
    i forgot to mention this,

    no current gpu can take full advantage of dx11 without crapping itself, just because this is able to run it, doesn't mean it will run it well.
  • 5 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 11, 2011 5:23 AM
    Flinstone66790Yes it will run crysis. Incredible.. Though it might need wine through Linux support ? Dx 11 emulation on Android? man imagine the possibilities....


    Well first you need to recompile Crysis to the ARM instruction set.
  • 4 Hide
    DjEaZy , November 11, 2011 5:26 AM
    AMD = DX11
    nVidia = DX11
    ARM = DX11
    intel = ???
    VIA = ???
  • 11 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , November 11, 2011 5:42 AM
    DX11 on a ARM gpu is marketing gimmick. I mean what diff does it make if it can support DX 11 if it isn't going to be able to run any setting details beyond low. Hell many, midrange gpu's have a hard enough time with DX 11 setting details on meduim that are a lot more powerful let any ARM GPU is.
  • -2 Hide
    teknomedic , November 11, 2011 6:06 AM
    yeah so it can do DX11.... but DX11 graphics at 0.25fps is worthless... sooooo... what are we taking about here?? /sarcasm
  • 2 Hide
    nottheking , November 11, 2011 8:00 AM
    I love the use of the "desktop-level graphics" as if DirectX support is all that's needed to equal what you can get on good gaming PCs. Glad to know that the graphics in a netbook's AMD C-30 (a Radeon 6250) are "desktop-level" every bit as much as that 6990!

    The problem here, though, is I've had a hard time figuring out just what a "core" is... I do know that PowerVR's MP series uses multiple "cores" that is slightly wasteful given the redundant silicon vs. a single-core, multi-SP chip. (it's a tradeoff in exchange for easier scalability) If the above diagram is any indicator, then perhaps each "Core" consists of 4 shader units, which means an 8-core GPU has 32 stream processors... Not exactly impressive compared to a PC, or even really a netbook, but should be fine for a phone, since that puts it on a par with a PSV or 3DS. (this 4-per-core matches with the figures suggested for this chip's predecessor, which tops out at 4 cores)

    Of course, a bigger question will be its memory bandwidth; that's a spot Sony's and Nintendo's handhelds thrash phones, which have to rely on much-slower RAM to focus on conserving power when NOT gaming.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , November 11, 2011 8:09 AM
    Well, of course you won't be running desktop games on it.

    Windows 8 is out in a year and a half or so, i think this is preparation for that. Mobile games would have more efficient DX11 code i suppose, or very limited use of it.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , November 11, 2011 9:36 AM
    how will it scale against llano or trinity?
  • 0 Hide
    nikorr , November 11, 2011 10:25 AM
    Its gonna be hot : )
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