ARM Mali processors enable visually stunning 2D and 3D graphics for mobile gaming and advanced user interfaces.
CAMBRIDGE, UK – Feb. 12, 2007 – ARM today announced at the 3GSM World Congress, Barcelona, Spain, the availability of two ARM® Mali™ graphics processor units (GPUs) for mobile multimedia applications. The ARM Mali200™ processor delivers visually stunning 3D graphics for next-generation mobile games on smartphones and other high-end portable devices. With an extraordinarily small footprint, the ARM Mali55™ processor brings rich 3D graphics capabilities to low-cost feature phones for the first time. Both graphics processors feature a unique rendering architecture that scales from the smallest of displays right up to HDTV resolution, while minimizing memory bandwidth and conserving battery life.
“Mobile multimedia phones today rival the personal computers of ten years ago. Now, console-quality 3D graphics are transforming the mobile handset into a compelling gaming platform, and recent innovations are redefining the very way we interact with the UI,” said Ian Drew, vice president, Segment Marketing, ARM. “With the integration of the Mali processors into the ARM portfolio, we can now offer comprehensive 2D and 3D graphics solutions for a wide range of handsets – from low-cost phones to high-end mobile multimedia devices – and accelerate time-to-market.”
3D Graphics Transform Mobile Gaming
According to Juniper Research, total worldwide revenues in the mobile gaming market are expected to approach $17.6 billion by 2011, producing a cumulative revenue stream of nearly $57 billion over the next six years. This growth is fuelled by the popularity of both casual gaming and hardcore gaming across all ages of consumers, as more compelling content is becoming available on mobile handsets across the board. Enhanced 2D and 3D graphics are opening new opportunities for game developers and publishers not only to port console titles to mobile platforms, but also create “designed for mobile” and networked multiplayer games that take advantage of the most advanced smartphone features.
The ARM Mali200 processor delivers brilliant 2D and 3D graphics with 4x and 16x full scene anti-aliasing (FSAA) to “smooth” otherwise jagged lines. In addition, the Mali200 processor supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering, which uses floating-point values to represent a huge range of naturally occurring light values, resulting in more life-like, striking images. Content developers can also take advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 support for fully programmable shaders, which provide them with an unprecedented level of control over the rendering pipeline to create PC- and console-quality effects on VGA and higher resolutions at more than 30 frames per second.
The net result is a powerful 3D gaming experience on mobile phones, PDAs and GPS devices, with very low power consumption. As with all ARM Mali processors, the Mali200 graphics processor minimizes memory bandwidth and power consumption using a unique technology that combines tile-based rendering with traditional immediate-mode rendering techniques to minimize total gate count, area and cost.
Advanced User Interface for Low-Cost Feature Phones
The ARM Mali55 graphics processor brings visually enhanced mobile games and user interfaces to the mass market by enabling graphics acceleration for low-cost feature phones. Measuring in at under 1.4mm2 on a 90nm generic process, the Mali55 processor is the world’s smallest GPU in its class and an attractive option for mobile phones where area comes at a premium. With full scene anti-aliasing up to 16x, the Mali55 processor can transform a QVGA screen to resemble a high-cost VGA system for UI and gaming. The Mali55 processor is fully compliant with both OpenGL ES v1.1 and OpenVG, further lowering integration costs for ARM silicon Partners.
Complete Graphics Solution from ARM
The ARM Mali200 and Mali55 processors provide the hardware IP for 2D and 3D graphics, and are supported by ARM’s existing embedded software solutions for Java-based 3D graphics, including ARM Swerve Client software. Built on the M3G 1.1 (JSR-184) standard, a higher level API defined with over the air (OTA) delivery in mind, Swerve Client software ships in high volumes today in phones from Siemens, Motorola, Samsung and LG Electronics, enabling widespread deployment of 3D Java games. By combining Swerve Client software with a dedicated Mali processor, OEMs can offer games developers a high-end platform for outstanding visual clarity in 3D gaming, while maintaining compatibility with existing games catalogs.
“After just six months as part of ARM, the Trondheim team has been rewarded with two further licenses of Mali processors as stated in last week’s earnings announcement,” said Borgar Ljosland, graphics business development manager, ARM. “The strength of Mali technology and the potential applications it would be suitable for are demonstrated by the fact that one of the licensees is in the mobile space and the other licensee is in the set-top box market.”
ARM is uniquely positioned to be able to provide SoC designers with the Mali graphics processors alongside conventional ARM technology, such as the ARM9™ family and the Cortex™-A8 processor, together with AMBA® 3 AXI™ interconnect, memory controllers and display peripherals. When implemented using ARM Artisan® Metro™ libraries, designers can create silicon that delivers high-performance 2D and 3D graphics at the lowest possible power consumption.
The ARM Mali200 and Mali55 graphics processors will be featured in the ARM booth at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona (Booth 1C01, Hall 1) and are available for licensing immediately. Further information on ARM embedded graphics solutions is available at: http://www.arm.com/products/esd/multimediagraphics_home.html.
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from mobile, home and enterprise solutions to embedded and emerging applications. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, graphics processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. Combined with the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.