Peter Clarke, EETimes
5/31/2016 03:05 PM EDT
LONDON--The Mali-G71 GPU core is ARM's first that follows a new architecture called Bifrost that has been launched providing support for the Vulkan API from the industry-run Khronos Group.
The architecture includes maths capabilities that could be used by other software as part of a heterogeneous system architecture. That could include neural network software but ARM executives stressed that Bifrost is first and foremost an architecture for raster, tile-based graphics processing units (GPUs).
The previous architecture – Midgard – is the one that underlies ARM's T-series Mali GPUs and has up to 16 unified shader cores and SIMD [single-instruction multiple data] instruction set architecture. Bifrost supports up to 32 unified shader cores with a scalar ISA, full hardware cache coherency and something called clause execution.
The primary goal, according to Sean Ellis, GPU architect with ARM, was to achieve more performance per square millimeter of silicon and per line of "real-world" shader code. And this has been achieved to tune of about 50 percent through the use of a new scalar, clause-based ISA, with quad-based arithmetic units
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