Arm announced today a new display processor for VR headsets. The Mali D-77 is said to be optimized for 3K resolution VR experiences at 120 frames per second without creating motion sickness. The processor also promises support for small and large LCDs, as well as OLED displays with HDR capabilities.
Arm Mali-D77 Display Processor
The new VR capabilities of the Mali-D77 differ from other display processors on the market. For instance, it enables the offloading of specific compute functions from the GPU to the display processing unit (DPU), which Arm said leads to both higher quality visuals, as well as the elimination of motion sickness. Freeing the GPU from having to power up the display itself means that the GPU is free to use its resources for gaming or other more GPU-specific tasks.
Other Mali-D77 features include:
- Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) - a capability that “pre-distorts” images so that they counter the distortion effect of the VR headset lenses.
- Chromatic Aberration Correction (CAC) - similar to LDC, the CAC feature pre-separates the color channels in the opposite direction to counter the blurring effect caused by the lenses.
- Asynchronous Timewarp (ATW) - this feature re-projects the virtual scene based on the latest position of the headset in the 3D space.
Mali-D77 Bandwidth and Power Savings
In order to enable lighter and untethered VR headsets, the display processor needs to be both powerful and efficient. According to Arm's announcement, when the VR composition and processing is done by the Mali-D77, the system can see a 40% reduction in bandwidth in typical VR uses cases.
In addition, Arm said the chip brings a 12% power saving for VR workloads, which means developers can either choose to use that savings to enable higher quality visuals or free up GPU cycles.
Arm noted that the Mali-D77 display processor is versatile enough to be used in System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms that can then be integrated into all sorts of devices that use displays.