Samsung Adopts ARM’s Next Generation Mali-T604 GPU


ARM’s just announced the availability of their next generation Mali-T604 GPU that promises to deliver “visually rich user experiences not previously seen i consumer electronics devices.” Sounds great! So who’s getting it? ARM specifically points out that Samsung was the first eager beaver to step up as the first licensee of the chipset. Samsung’s Hummingbird in their current Galaxy devices is already ARM-based, so we can only assume that this step up will be crammed into a Galaxy lineup refresh that we expect to see sometime in late 2011. The chip includes support for OpenCL and DirectX and was designed specifically for general purpose GPU computing, says ARM.


The only question that remains: but can it play Crysis? We’ll have to wait until Samsung announces their plans for their new generation of devices that we’ll probably be hearing about in the middle of next year. Press release below.

ARM Heralds New Era In Embedded Graphics With Next-Generation Mali GPU

10 November 2010

Samsung first to gain access to new Mali graphics technology

SANTA CLARA, CA, USA – NOV.10, 2010 – ARM today introduced the ARM® Mali™-T604 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) at the ARM Technology Conference 2010 in Santa Clara, bringing innovative and compelling visual computing to next generation consumer electronics devices. Delivering up to 5x performance improvement over current Mali graphics processors, the Mali-T604 provides industry-leading graphics performance with an energy-efficient profile. The Mali-T604 enables visually rich user experiences not previously seen in consumer electronics devices, scaling from smartphones to high-end digital entertainment systems. The Mali-T604 is currently available to license by lead partners. Samsung, who is already a licensee of the Mali graphic processor technology, will be the first ARM Partner who can gain access to the Mali-T604.

“Visual computing is driving the next generation of consumer electronics, as consumers and developers demand the highest levels of graphics performance”, said Lance Howarth, EVP and general manager, Media Processing Division, ARM. “The tri-pipe architecture in the Mali-T604 provides both market leading compute functionality and high-performance graphics without compromise, enabling unequalled user experiences in energy-efficient consumer electronic devices.”

The debut of the scalable, multicore Mali-T604 GPU raises the performance bar for visual computing in the consumer electronics space, including mobiles, tablets, DTVs and automotive infotainment. The innovative tri-pipe graphics architecture within the Mali-T604 GPU, addresses the ever-increasing computationally intensive demand inherent in next generation interactive user interfaces and gaming.

“Allegorithmic is excited by the announcement of Mali-T604 with its enhanced GPGPU capabilities which will make it possible for procedural content to be computed on the device, ” said Dr Sébastien Deguy, Founder and CEO, Allegorithmic. ” enabling higher-quality graphics, reduced memory bandwidth and footprint, and best of all, reduced energy consumption.”

ARM’s fourth-generation GPU is specifically designed to meet the needs of General Purpose computing on GPU (GPGPU) and extends API support to include full profile Khronos™ OpenCL™ and Microsoft® DirectX®. Support for GPGPU is becoming increasingly important for enhanced Augmented Reality applications and gesture recognition.

“Khronos congratulates ARM on the announcement of the Mali-T604 and its plan to support full profile OpenCL 1.1 on both ARMv7 CPUs and the GPU. The OpenCL 1.1 specification was announced by the Khronos organization in June 2010 and is a significant milestone in enabling GPU computing on embedded devices”, said Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group and Chair of the OpenCL Working Group.”Khronos is committed to the development and promotion of royalty-free, open standards that enable heterogeneous computing with portability across multiple vendors’ silicon solutions, growing the total market for applications that use GPU compute technology.”

The Mali-T604 brings innovative, patented techniques reducing memory bandwidth consumption, by up to 30%, substantially improving system level energy-efficiency. The Mali-T604 fully exploits ARM’s Cache Coherent Interconnect (CCI-400) to deliver a memory coherent system with the recently announced Cortex™-A15 MPCore™. Bringing the key resources together into an optimized coherent system enables higher performance and more efficient data sharing, maximizing throughput in ARM compute sub-systems.

About Mali Graphics Technology
The Mali GPU family scales from the smallest GPU in the world through to scalable multicore solutions for high frame-rate HD devices. It is widely adopted, currently having 31 licensees and ships in a growing range of consumer electronics devices. Building on the heritage of Mali-400 MP, the Mali-T604 is ARM’s fourth-generation GPU and is the first member of a new family of GPUs based on the Midgard architecture which all use a common software driver, minimising software upgrade costs for future implementations. The Mali-T604 delivers up to 5x performance improvement over previous Mali graphics processors and is specifically designed to meet the needs of General Purpose computing on GPU (GPGPU). Together with its comprehensive ecosystem of Partners, ARM is uniquely positioned to offer IP and tools which address the complete range of graphics development activities – from System-on-Chip integration and software development through to content creation and optimization.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. First

  2. God damn you bing searchbar!

  3. This looks like a great chip, but I have one question: How can you have DirectX support on a non-X86 application? Is Microsoft going to port Windows to ARM?

  4. Nice! Gotta love Samsung for keeping up with the latest hardware technologies. That’s why they’re the leader in today’s consumer electronics.

  5. @toast
    yeah its just too bad they cant keep up with updates in a timely manner

  6. Thats why I said in a thread about most future proof phone the Galaxy S line was. For things like this.
    They use the PowerVR 540 now…The OMAP, by the times it will use the 540, Samsung gpu will be on par with the Tegra 2 gpu..
    Now I wonder….since Samsung will be switching gpu….can the OMAP do that too?

  7. @ jroc
    Thats why I said in a thread about most future proof phone the Galaxy S line was. For things like this.

    They use the PowerVR 540 now…The OMAP, by the times it will use the 540, Samsung gpu will be on par with the Tegra 2 gpu.


  8. I couldn’t agree with you more Chris. I’ve been patiently waiting for 2.2 for my Galaxy S! I keep reading it should be out this month, but I’ll believe when I’m installing it.

  9. Obsidian V2 from Team Whiskey is the way to go for your 2.2 fix ;) then Odin back to stock when the official froyo comes out if you want

  10. Seems like they are going for top specs on every new device.

  11. From personal experience, Samsung uses very nice hardware, but their software blows balls like Mr. Bucket.

  12. I like this mobile……

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