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Aug 8, 2012

ARM Mali-600 GPUs Extremely Powerful

The world’s most successful fabless CPU designer, British company ARM has just launched the new Mali-600 GPUs for powerful tablets, TVs and smartphones. The new chips bring more than 1000% the performance exhibited by the popular Mali-400 generation of GPUs.

The new products launched today are the Mali-T624, Mali-T628 and Mali-T678. They are all part of the ARM Midgard GPU family. ARM says that the most powerful Mali-T687 design is an updated version of the fast Mali-T658 and, considering that the T658 was already up to ten times faster than the Mali-T400, we can only imagine how the T678 will perform. The T678 design looks like a doubled Mali-T624 and the Mali-T628 looks just the same, but there is likely a frequency difference between the T678 and T624 architectures. ARM targets the Mali-T678 at the growing tablet market, while the T628 and T624 are designed for smartphones and other applications. Each of the products is said to feature a 50% performance increase, but the company is not clear on what they are comparing them to.

Only the Mali-T678 is clearly characterized in its features table as being 50% faster than the already impressively fast T658. The T678, T628 and T624 are the first designs to include adaptive scalable texture compression (ASTC) technology, which optimizes the GPU performance leading to an increased battery life. The Mali-T678 and Mali-T628 are eight-core designs while the T624 is a quad-core design supporting OpenGL ES 1.1, OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX 11 FL 9_3, DirectX 11, OpenCL 1.1 full profile and Google Renderscript compute. The architectural diagram, although lacking most of the technical details, shows that there are two memory controllers inside the eight-core chips and two sets of level 2 cache while both groups are administrated by an Inter-core Task Management unit.

ARM has also integrated and has been quite involved with the GPU compute characteristics of the new architecture, and all the new designs come with specific GPU compute features.

Mali-T658 GPU Marketing Shot
Image credits to ARM

ARM Mali-T628 8-core GPU Design
Image credits to ARM

ARM Mali-T624 4-core GPU Design
Image credits to ARM

ARM Mali-T678 8-core GPU Features and Performance Estimations
Image credits to ARM

ARM Mali-T624 8-core GPU Features and Performance Estimations
Image credits to ARM

ARM Mali-T678 8-core GPU Design
Image credits to ARM


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