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GPU promises cache coherence, energy efficiency

Posted: 15 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:GPU? image processing? cache coherency? energy efficiency?

ARM Holding plc has rolled the Mali-T658 GPU that claims to optimize performance and energy-efficiency. The device is the latest member of the Midgard architecture-based GPUs targeting high performance devices including superphones, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

To deliver high-end consumer requirements, the Mali-T658 GPU offers up to 10 times the graphics performance of the Mali-400 MP GPU found in many mainstream consumer products. It also features four times the GPU compute performance of the Mali-T604 GPU, enabling uses outside traditional graphics processing, including computational photography, image processing and augmented reality.

"Following the recent introduction of big.LITTLE processing and the ARMv8 architecture, the launch of Mali-T658 is another example of how ARM is seeking to redefine heterogeneous computing for the embedded space," noted Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. "This will provide high-performance graphics and compute systems for low-power applications."

Supported by lead ARM Partners such as Fujitsu, LG, Nufront and Samsung, the Mali-T658 GPU enables an immersive visual computing experience on many 'always on, always connected' consumer devices. The Mali-T658 has double the number of arithmetic pipelines within each core and is also compatible with the ARMv8 architecture.

The ARM Mali-T658 GPU supports many graphics and compute APIs including Microsoft DirectX 11, Khronos OpenGL ES, OpenVG, Khronos OpenCL, Google Renderscript and Microsoft DirectCompute.

The Mali-T658 has been designed to work seamlessly with the ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM Cortex-A7 processors either in standalone modes or in big.LITTLE processing mode. The autonomous nature of the Mali Job Manager, and its ability to carry on graphics processing with a reduced load on the CPU, means it is very well suited to work alongside a big.LITTLE CPU system. By using the right processor for the right task the Mali-T658 is able to handle GPU compute tasks in parallel with the CPU handling the 'always-on always-connected' tasks. The ability of the Mali-T658 GPU to scale up to eight cores provides unprecedented energy-efficiency, flexibility and scalability to match the CPU and GPU performance points through one coherent interface, noted ARM.

Cache coherency is essential in multicore computing devices to maintain the consistency of data stored in local caches of a shared resource. This ensures optimum performance and energy-efficiency of complex heterogeneous SoC designs, and is designed to address next generation, high-performance computing devices. ARM system IP enables system level cache coherency across multicore processors including the Cortex-A15 MPCore processors and Mali-T658.

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