ARM Announces Mali-T658 GPU for Next Generation Mobile Devices, Promises Desktop Class Performance

ARM, which continues to flex its muscle in the mobile market, just announced its new Mali-T658 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), the latest member of the Midgard architecture-based GPU family for high performance devices, including fast smartphones and superphones, tablets, and smart TVs. The Mali-T658 is a mulit-core chip that supposedly delivers up to ten times the graphics performance of the Mali-400 MP GPU. In addition, it offers four times the GPU Compute performance of the Mali-T604, opening the door to tasks like computational photography, image processing, and augmented reality, ARM says.

"By showing off some of the versatility of the Midgard architecture it brings in a compute punch of up to 350 GFLOPS and over 5GPixel/s real fill rate to external memory to power high-end mobile devices with Visual Computing and Augmented Reality, the 4k DTV revolution, and Exascale High Performance Compute," Edvard Sørgård, Consultant Graphics Architect for ARM, said in a blog post. "It’s another fantastic component in the joined-up computing story from ARM. You can still find every part of the unrivaled feature set of the Mali-T604 in the Mali-T658, including the true multi-core capability allowing partners to choose the number of cores to implement making one product release from ARM equal a whole roadmap of products from others."

According to ARM, the Mali-T658 delivers desktop-class performance because it has double the number of GPU cores, doubled the number of arithmetic pipelines within each core, and sports an improved compiler and pipeline efficiency. It provides native hardware support for 64-bit scalar and vector, integer, and floating-point data types. The chip is also capable of 4x Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) with a minimal dip in performance, and supports up to 16x FSAA.

This thing was built for speed, Underscoring that point, ARM claims its new chip will lend itself to battery powered mobile handsets that are about on par with Sony's PlayStation 3 console in graphics performance, according to a report in the U.K.'s BBC News. This is where you roll up your tongue and put it back in your mouth.