ARM (Advanced RISC Machines) has announced the launch of two new Mali GPUs, the Mali-G52 and the Mali-G31, which promise to bring advanced graphics processing and ‘premium experiences’ to more devices.
This is a significant development because ARM-based chipsets basically power all the smartphones in the world, including smart home appliances such as Smart TVs or refrigerators. An update from ARM will have an impact on your life, directly or indirectly. The company develops RISC instruction sets for the ARM platform and also designs chips. These designs are licensed out to various companies like Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei.
In the announcement on its blog, ARM went on to add that it only makes sense to support latest trends like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Machine Learning (ML) and the latest APIs for graphics development in ‘mainstream’ and ‘low-end devices’. The Mali-G52 will give “greater performance in a smaller area” while supporting ML, AR, and VR because of the new execution engine design while the Mali-G31 is supporting latest graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 3.2, Khronos and Vulkan for more complex user interfaces.
According to ARM, the Mali-G52 offers a 30 percent boost in the ‘performance density’ department in comparison to its predecessor, the G51, which was launch more than a year ago. The GPU will be 15 percent more power efficient and chipset designers can get higher frame rates at the same price or from a cheaper chip with similar performance because of the decrease in size and the increased ‘performance density’, claims ARM.
ARM also claims a 3.6x performance boost for ML-related tasks. ML is key to supporting on-device AI assistants, image processing and other such features that are taken for granted on high-end devices.
Huawei Deputy General Manager for the Turing processor business unit, Yanqiu Daniel Diao added, “ML is a top priority for us across all of our devices as user demands increase, so the ability to perform challenging ML workloads at such high quality on the GPU can make all the difference in the mainstream market.”
The new execution engine design and the added shader execution units will result in anywhere between 50 percent to 100 percent more FLOPS (FLoating point Operations Per Second), as detailed in a report by GSMArena. Moving to the lower end of the spectrum, the Mali-G31 will replace the Mali-400 and is based on the Mali-G51. ARM pointed out that the GPU is based on 'Bifrost' architecture. The chip is limited to two cores, but despite that, it offers similar performance to last year's mid-range offering, the GG51, in the entry-level segment.
ARM also announced the Mali-V52 and D51, a video encoder and decoder respectively, which can encode 4K video at 60 fps without much issue while ensuring 20 percent better quality, and decoding 4K video at 120 fps with 30 percent more power saving and 50 percent better memory latency. Both of these components are part of the Video Processing Unit (VPU), which can be used in devices such as Smart TVs and set-top boxes.