ARM has just created a brand new, entry level version of its Mali graphics processor that, if incorporated, could expand the market of low cost Android tablets. Known as the Mali-450, this GPU is designed to help manufacturers build tablets that are less expensive than the ones currently leading the markets, like Apple’s iPad which runs $399. However, these manufacturers still want good enough graphics performance to keep most users satisfied.
Touchscreens and HD video are pretty standard when it comes to tablets these days, with the GPUs in these devices accounting for a big share of the price you pay. In addition to that, more powerful GPUs take up more space on the CPU, which could also increase costs. A lot of manufacturers are looking for cheaper parts that offer decent graphics performance while also occupying less space. This is where the Mali-450 fits in.
The new GPU is offered with as many as eight cores and offers double the performance of its predecessor the Mali-400. The Mali-450 is also expected to appear in tablets in the first half of 2013 according to Director of Marketing for ARM’s Media Processing Division Ian Smythe.
Tablet makers are showing an increased demand for a wide range of price and performance characteristics, which is where this new ARM GPU comes in . The company is planning on offering the Mali-T600 series for high-end devices and the Mali-400 series for low-end devices.
Both series will be able to do gaming and video playback but, according to Smythe, only the high-end parts will be able to handle “computational graphics”. That includes things like matching points on two images to do facial recognition or stitching photographs together into a panorama. ARM is also developing a high-end part known as Skrymir (not to be confused with Skyrim, cheeky devils) which is due out sometime in 2014.
Source: Computer World – ARM preps Mali GPU for low-cost Android tablets