ARM Shows Off New Mali GPU – Promises 10x The Performance Over Your Momma’s Smartphone


No doubt feeling the heat from Nvidia with their announcement of the beastly quad-core Tegra 3 processor, ARM decided to make a little announcement of their own in the form of the upcoming Mali-T658 GPU. The new T658 boasts 4 times the power of the the T604 which happens to be still in production and 10 times the computing power of the Mali-T400 GPU, currently found inside Samsung’s Exynos processors and powering the Galaxy S II line of smartphones.

While no specific devices have been mentioned, some of the bigger OEM’s like Samsung, LG and Fujitsu have already signed on for the next, next generation Mali, with ARM promising to deliver PS3 quality gaming. Well, that and the resurrection of the Power Glove if ARM’s promo video is any indication. Remember, kids — ARM does processors, not promotional videos.

Console quality graphics is something we are just now beginning to see manifest themselves in devices featuring Nvidia’s 12-core GPU Tegra 3 processors. Of course, by the time ARM is ready to deliver on the Mali-T658 I’m sure we’ll be seeing a 36-core GPU from Nvidia at the rate they’re moving.

[BBCNews via TheVerge]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. All this “console quality graphics” stuff is reminding me when my brother (business major) told me that in the business world, saying something is “X quality” (eg. “Japan Quality”, “Italian Quality”) is another way to say it’s a fake product (they’re all made in China!).

    I’d say that pretty much applies to this nonsense. Current generation of consoles are delivering bump mapping, real time shadows and lighting, anti aliasing, serious pixel shader effects, lots of polygons per second, ambient occlusion, etc. at 1280×720 resolution.

    Until we see all that on phones, the term “console quality graphics” should be dropped. Then again, I’m basically asking marketers to be truthful. I don’t think a truthful marketer exists. If there is one, s/he is probably the awesomest person in the world.

    1. Tegra 3 GPU has real-time lighting. I think we’ll see a lot more polygons in Tegra 4 if they finally unify the shaders and keep or increase the core count.

      This GPU isn’t coming out until late 2012, though, so it should be significantly better than what we have now. It should be at least 5x faster in FPS than Mali-400.

      1. The tegra 3 having real time lighting is a start i guess. I think by the time tegra 4 is properly announced, the next generation of consoles would be demonstrated as well (and the Wii U would be out by then I think), putting phones back to “Last-generation console quality graphics”

        1. That may be true, and mobile devices may always be behind next-gen consoles. However, it wont be feasible for companies like Nintendo and Sony to refresh their consoles at the rate of cpu/gpu advances. Mobile manufacturers can easily keep up with this rate.

          Therefore, there will reach a point where mobile devices will be up to date with present-gen consoles or on the cusp of being up to date with them…..say 2015?

          1. considering that both the 360 and the PS3 got hardware similar to that of the higher-end gaming desktops of the time they’re released in, and considering the capabilities of current higher-end gaming desktops (i love my desktop), I’d say it’ll take them much more time than that to reach “console quality” again.

            EDIT: also consider the fragmentation of the SoCs (which I recall google was trying to fix), and the super-optimized hardware/software on consoles. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything look like Uncharted on phones any time soon.

    2. News flash.

      Current consoles were designed 7 years ago.

      Graphics chips are a lot more advanced today.

      Toss in the fact that the Wii is the least powerful of the bunch, and you have a pretty low bar for “console-quality graphics”.

      1. And 7 years later, the PS3 and 360 are still far more powerful than any phone/tablet

        And adding the wii into your argument doesn’t work. It wasn’t intended to have decent hardware to begin with. It was made for accessibility and profitability in mind, much like the low/mid end phones. Yes, it is a console, but it’s not exactly a bar GPU designers would go for.

  2. nVidia 12 core? Isn’t Tegra 3 only 5?

    1. 5 core cpu and 12core GPU ;) Confused? :P

      1. They aren’t really cores; they are pixel shaders. Why NVidia has no adopted the more flexible Unified Architecture is beyond me.

        1. aaaand now i’m even more confused

      2. you have no idea

  3. we’re assuming theyre talking about the ps3 or xbox when they say “console quality graphics”   but they could be talking about the wii  lol.

    and even if they are talking about the ps3 and xbox then its not that much of a boast to say theyve caught up with technology from around 2004/5  lol.  

    1. To shrink from something the size of a slim desktop tower to something that can fit in the palm of your hand in less than a decade is pretty astounding if you ask me…

  4. Tegra 4 has 60 gpu cores and 8 core cpu, while tegra 5 ( project denver) has 250 gpu cores based on arm 15!
    Expect a next gen console to launch when that happens

  5. Why would ARM be feeling the heat when Nvidia shows off a new processor that uses ARM cores for the CPU and an ARM instruction set?

  6. “Now you can really Hadouken! (but you’ll still look stupid)”

  7. You do realize that Nvidia is an ARM licensee and ARM doesn’t actually make processors, it only licenses the reference design for them, right? and that Tegra2 and Tegra3 are actually ARM processors.

    Means that CPU will end up being made by nVidia, TI and Qualcomm. 

    But don’t let the obvious facts stand in the way of sensational posts.

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