ARM Address Demand for VR and 4K Mobile Content by Unveiling Two New Processors

There are a lot of people in the virtual reality (VR) industry that see mobile as the future of the technology, with the lower-end mobile tech eventually merging with the higher-end PC versions as smartphones become evermore powerful. Today ARM has announced the launch of two processing units, the Mali-V61 video processing unit (VPU) and the  Mali G-51 graphics processing unit (GPU), both aimed at meeting the demands of mobile devices.

The Mali-V61 has been designed to deliver efficient 4K live streaming for real-time video applications such as Facebook Live and Periscope. The new VPU offers live streaming advantages through a 50 percent bit-rate saving over previous generation codecs to allow HD content to be transmitted efficiently. Mali-V61 also scales from 1080p60 on a single core, up to 4K120 on multiple cores. ARM has included VP9 encode in the Mali-V61 as a future-proofing measure as the company expects it’ll soon be required in Android and Google apps.

ARM Mali G-51

“The cost and visual experience a device delivers are key purchasing factors for Generation Z and mainstream mobile users,” said James McNiven, general manager for CPU and media processing groups, ARM. “Our latest Mali video and graphics IP suite meets this demand by offering immersive VR, gaming and compliance with real-time video standards. This is a system-level media solution that enables developers to balance performance, efficiency and cost control.”

The Mali-G51 is a Vulkan-enabled GPU for screen resolutions up to 4K. Based on ARM’s new Bifrost architecture, the GPU has been updated to include a redesigned texturing unit, while the processor delivers up to 60 percent more performance per mm2 and is up to 60 percent more energy-efficient than its predecessor. This should enhance functionality for VR, improve  everyday gaming, augmented reality (AR) and faster browsing.

“We’re now seeing demand for mainstream devices to cater for not only complex UIs and casual gaming but also low power VR and virtual spaces applications,” said Shen Li, General Manager, Joint Development Product Centre, Tencent Games. “To meet these requirements a mainstream GPU needs a balance of area and energy efficiency, all within the smallest silicon area, in order to reduce costs for this competitive, high-volume segment.”

Both the Mali-V61 and Mali-G51 are available to license now, and for all the latest VR news keep reading VRFocus.