Arm targets premium mobile gaming with ray tracing GPU: embedded.com

Arm targets premium mobile gaming with ray tracing GPU

Arm launches flagship GPU targeting premium mobile gaming, plus new high end end Cortex-X3 CPU.

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Arm has this week launched a brand new flagship GPU, called Immortalis, which features hardware-based ray tracing to deliver the “ultimate” in mobile gaming performance, according to the company. At the same time, it also launched it latest Armv9 CPU, the Cortex-X3, which it said targets a range of benchmarks and applications, delivering a 25% performance improvement compared to the latest Android flagship smartphone and a 34% performance improvement compared to the latest mainstream laptops.

Arm TCS roadmap
This week’s devices were launched as part of Arm’s TCS22 (Total Compute Solutions 2022) strategy.

Announcing the devices as part of its 2022 Total Compute Solutions strategy, Paul Williamson, senior vice president and general manager for Arm’s client line of business, said, “Mobile is the largest gaming platform in the world, where sustained performance is vital. For developers, making these immersive real-time 3D experiences even more compelling and engaging requires more performance.” He added, “We continue to expand the dimensions of performance beyond general-purpose workloads to workloads requiring specialized processing, propelling mobile technology, not just on the GPU but across CPUs and system IP too.”

arm-total-compute-socdesign-solutions-block diagram
The Arm IP launched as part of the TCS22 platform claim to offer up to 28% more performance and up to 16% power reduction across a range of workloads, such as gaming. The solution combines GPUs, CPUs and system IP. (Source: Arm)

In order to address this, the new devices introduced this week include a brand new flagship GPU called Immortalis, built on the heritage of Mali but configured and enhanced to deliver good mobile 3D experiences. Immortalis-G715 is the first Arm GPU to offer hardware-based ray tracing support on mobile, helping deliver more realistic and immersive gaming experiences. Arm believes that ray tracing represents a paradigm shift in mobile gaming content. It decided to introduce hardware-based ray tracing support now on Immortalis-G715 because its partners are ready, the hardware is ready, and the developer ecosystem is also about to get ready.

Among the features of the new GPUs is variable rate shading – a graphics feature that is present across all Arm’s newly launched GPUs. It provides significant energy savings and a performance boost through optimized rendering where it matters on graphics and visuals. Essentially, it takes a scene and focuses the rendering on the parts that need it at a fine pixel granularity. Typically, this would be where the game action takes place. Areas that require less focus, such as background scenery, are rendered with a more coarse pixel granularity. The gaming scene would still maintain its perceived visual quality, but with energy savings. When enabling variable rate shading on gaming content, Arm said it has seen improvements of up to 40 percent on frames per second (FPS). More details on this and other features are in Arm’s blog here.

In addition to this flagship GPU, the company also launched a new premium Arm Mali-G715 GPU, which includes variable rate shading – a graphics feature available across all new GPUs –  to deliver significant energy savings and a further gaming performance boost.

The new suite of Arm GPUs is focused on improving gaming experiences across flagship and premium mobile devices. Mobile gaming is set to pass the $100bn mark for the first time in 2022, according to the latest update from Newzoo’s 2022 Global Games Market Report. This makes up 51 percent of the overall gaming market.

The company said its latest GPUs are the most performant to date, with a 15% performance improvement compared to the previous generation, demonstrating Arm’s focus on ensuring that the latest flagship and premium smartphones deliver the AAA gaming experiences that end-users are demanding. The new GPUs also build upon the highly efficient Arm Mali-G710 GPU, with 15% energy efficiency improvements to deliver more game time ‘on-the-go’.

Latest Armv9 CPUs: the Cortex-X3

Also launched this week are Arm’s second generation of Armv9 based CPUs, which include the Arm Cortex-X3 and Arm Cortex-A715. It also revealed updates to Arm Cortex-A510 and the DSU-110 (DynamIQ shared unit). The new Armv9 CPUs and updates form the foundation of its Total Compute Solutions (TCS22).

The new Cortex-X3 is Arm’s third-generation Cortex-X CPU. It is the product of the Cortex-X custom program which allows participating partners to shape the final product design. Arm said that being designed for ultimate performance, the Cortex-X3 represents the third consecutive year of double-digit IPC (instructions per cycle) growth. The result of this strong IPC beat translates to performance leadership on Android flagship smartphones and Windows on Arm laptop devices, the company said. It added that the Cortex-X3 targets a range of benchmarks and applications and delivers 25 percent improved performance when compared with the latest Android flagship smartphone.

Within the laptop space, Cortex-X3 is said to deliver 34 percent improved single-threaded performance when compared with the latest mainstream laptops. Consistent performance and microarchitecture improvements have laid solid foundations for a strong portfolio of Cortex-X CPUs. DSU support for up to 12 cores and 16M L3 cache on Cortex-X3 enables scalability across laptop and desktop devices, mobile, DTVs, and beyond.

Compared to the previous generation, the newly updated DSU-110 supports 50 percent more cores, alongside the latest ISA features. Arm said these changes improve flexibility for its partners and deliver the resources to realize the full potential of its CPUs for improved user experiences. This means its partners can now target premium laptop devices with new configurations, such as 8 Cortex-X3 CPU cores and 4 Cortex-A715 CPU cores, unlocking a new generation of consumer devices.


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