ARM announces single-core video codec IP for HEVC

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 
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ARM System-wide Approach Delivers Efficient, Rich Media Solution

CAMBRIDGE, UK — ARM (LSE: ARM and NASDAQ: ARMH) today announced a suite of integrated media IP designed to efficiently deliver rich visual content. The ARM® Mali™ media IP suite is ideal for the highest volume segments for smartphones and tablets, which is currently a billion unit opportunity.

The ARM Mali media IP suite represents ARM’s expanded vision of distributed processing that ensures graphically-intensive content is assigned to the most appropriate processor, balancing the best user experience with the lowest possible energy use. The highly configurable and scalable IP suite enables ARM partners to develop diverse media SoCs, and is comprised of the Mali-V550 video accelerator, the Mali-DP550 display processor and the Mali-T800 GPU family.

Integrated and Optimized for Efficiency

A system-level approach to media IP enables power savings through system-wide adoption of bandwidth saving technologies such as ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC). Other advanced technologies proven in prior Mali GPUs such as Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC), Transaction Elimination and Smart Composition are now utilized across all Mali media IP blocks for even greater energy savings. The Mali-V550 and Mali-DP550 processors also benefit from new features such as Motion Search Elimination technology that reduces bandwidth by up to 35 percent. This leads to a more energy-efficient mobile device that is better equipped for the increasingly complex content demands of users.

“As your mobile device is now your primary compute device, manufacturers have to regularly deliver better features and functionality while preserving battery life,” said Mark Dickinson, general manager, media processing group, ARM. “The ARM Mali media IP suite employs the right processor for the right task and utilizes our latest energy-saving technologies across all the IP blocks. We are giving our SoC partners a set of media IP that simply works better together.”

GPUs that Scale Across a Broad Range of Requirements

As mobile user content continues to diversify, manufacturers face an ongoing challenge to deliver the perfect device at the right price point. The new ARM Mali Media IP suite addresses this challenge by offering a scalable solution to meet a wide range of performance and cost requirements. The ARM Mali-T800 GPU family includes the Mali-T820, Mali-T830 and Mali-T860 GPUs.

In a performance and energy-efficiency comparison using the same configuration and process node:

  • The Mali-T820 GPU is optimized for entry-level products, achieving up to 40 percent more performance density compared to the Mali-T622 GPU
  • The Mali-T830 GPU strikes the perfect balance of performance and efficiency, delivering up to 55 percent more performance than the Mali-T622 GPU
  • The Mali-T860 GPU is for the most demanding consumers who want a great visual experience on their mobile device, providing high performance and 45 percent more energy-efficiency compared to the Mali-T628 GPU

The ARM Mali-T800 GPU family supports the latest APIs including OpenGL® ES 3.1, DirectX® 11, OpenCL™ and RenderScript and includes advanced features such as lossless compression with AFBC and Smart Composition for input bandwidth reduction. The Mali-T820 and Mali-T830 offer up to four shader cores, scaling to 16 shader cores in the Mali-T860.

IP Industry’s First Single-core Video Encode and Decode Solution for HEVC

The High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard has matured. Content in this format is now ready and suitable to migrate from software implementations to hardware implementations. The Mali-V550 video processor fully supports the HEVC standard to deliver compressed HD video at higher bit rates while retaining low energy consumption and secure content delivery features.

Benefits and features of the Mali-V550 include:

  • Scalability to 1080p/60fps on a single core and up to 4k120 on eight cores
  • First video IP from ARM with multi-standard codecs including HEVC (H.265) for both encode and decode on a single core
  • Multiple stream support for simultaneous encode and decode
  • Motion Search Elimination, an energy saving feature that dynamically turns motion search on or off in the video encoder

Delivering Energy-efficiency to the Screen

The Mali-DP550 delivers enhanced capabilities for offloading tasks such as composition, scaling, rotation and image post-processing from the GPU on to a dedicated processor in order to maximize device battery life.

Benefits and features of the Mali-DP550 include:

  • Support for up to seven layers of composition for image rendering optimization, that enables users to benefit from more dynamic and immersive user interfaces
  • A co-processor interface enabling easy integration with ARM partners’ IP blocks
  • Configuration flexibility to support a range of resolutions

The ARM system-level design approach delivers immediate benefits for OEMs and silicon manufacturers with components providing interfaces to the ARM DS-5 Streamline performance analyzer. This enables developers to identify bottlenecks across the entire system by showing the interaction of software with processors, graphics processors and system IP. This seamless software stack provided by the ARM ecosystem delivers high quality drivers that will enable a quicker time to market and lower development costs for ARM’s partners.

The ARM Mali media IP suite is available for immediate licensing and initial consumer devices are expected to appear in late 2015 and early 2016.