We are excited to expand our Mali graphics portfolio with the new Arm Mali-G57 GPU, bringing a range of new features and immersive experiences to the mainstream market. Mali-G57 is the first mainstream GPU based on the new Valhall architecture, following the premium Mali-G77 GPU launched back in May this year, which offered a big step-change in premium mobile experiences.
The new Mali-G57 enables a number of features not traditionally associated with mainstream smartphones and home appliances (e.g. DTVs and high-resolution set-top boxes), including high fidelity content, 4K and 8K user interfaces, console-like graphics on smartphones, and more complex machine learning (ML) and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) workloads. The market is demanding more from mainstream devices, with Mali-G57 helping to bring all these premium experiences and features to the mainstream.
Complex and Challenging GPU Use-Cases
At the heart of Mali-G57 is performance reminiscent of our premium GPUs. Mali-G57 offers a 30 percent better performance density across a range of content, from high-fidelity games like Fortnite to high resolution 2D content, compared with Mali-G52 GPU. In addition, Mali-G57 provides double the texturing performance when compared with Mali-G52. This greatly improves the performance for high resolution UI in 4K and 8K DTVs, AR and VR and gaming. The increase in compute and texture capabilities makes Mali-G57 the perfect choice to tackle more complex 3D workloads, such as physically based rendering (PBR), HDR rendering and volumetric effects, that are becoming common features on mobile devices. For the end-user, this means enhanced and smoother experiences and faster, greater responsiveness on their mainstream devices.
Along with performance, we have made significant energy efficiency improvements. The 30 percent better energy efficiency of Mali-G57 improves battery life across mainstream devices. This means users can play high fidelity games, watch videos and share content on their devices for longer.
Even Longer Game Play
Meanwhile,just like other mainstream GPUs, Mali-G57 delivers outstanding performance within a cost-efficient area budget. Whereas the premium Mali-G77 has at least 7 cores, Mali-G57 has 1 to 6 cores depending on the configuration. The smaller area lends itself perfectly to mainstream smartphones solutions.
Mali-G77 saw a big uplift in ML performance – up to 60 percent – with Mali-G57 seeing similar improvements that will take more complex ML workloads to mainstream devices. The 60 percent increase in on-device ML performance is made possible by 2x more FMAs when compared to Mali-G52 (depending on the configuration) and architectural optimizations. This provides faster responsiveness to a wide range of ML use cases common on today’s smartphones, such as speech recognition, face detection and image quality enhancement. Moreover, Mali-G57’s flexibility to perform different ML workloads ensures that the next generation of mainstream devices are able to provide future and emerging use-cases based on ML.
ML Performance Improvements
AR and VR are premium immersive experiences that consumers and the mainstream market are demanding more of. The challenge for the mainstream market is that AR and VR applications have a higher workload compared to classic 3D games, so are often limited to premium devices. However, using VR as an example, the foveated rendering technology present in Mali-G57 allows VR developers to reduce their app workload. This is achieved through selectively reducing the shading rate for the regions of the screen that are less visible through the lenses of mainstream VR headsets and devices. As a result, we are likely to see a greater number of users having access to more immersive VR games, apps and experiences. Similar improvements apply for AR where Mali-G57’s increase in performance makes more immersive and higher quality AR content, games and features a real possibility on mainstream devices.
The Valhall architecture appearing in mainstream devices is crucial for developers because it has been designed to align with modern APIs such as Vulkan which is considered to be the new standard for graphics on mobile and other platforms. Thanks to the performance and energy efficiency improvements of Mali-G57, games will run smoother and for longer on devices, helping to reinforce the reputation of developers in the gaming ecosystem to device manufacturers. This level of support helps gaming developers get their apps ready for the mainstream market, which, in turn, allows them to gain access to new revenues, such as the China and Asia markets where mainstream devices and mobile gaming are most prevalent. According to a 2018 Newzoo report on the China games market, China is estimated to generate $23 billion in mobile games revenue alone. Therefore, game developers are unsurprisingly keen to gain access to these regions where the mainstream market is very strong.
The Valhall Architecture
The Valhall architecture is the current basis of Arm’s latest generation GPUs, and contains various improvements and new features following the highly successful Bifrost architecture. The launch blog of Mali-G77 provides detailed information about the new Valhall architecture. However, it makes all the high-end and complex features and experiences possible on both premium and mainstream devices. In addition to aligning better with the modern Vulkan API, the key features of the architecture consist of a new superscalar engine, a simplified scalar ISA and a new dynamic scheduling of instructions. All of these bring about the performance and energy efficiency improvements present in Mali-G57.
Mali-G57: Bringing Premium Device Experiences Mainstream
With Mali-G57, we are moving experiences traditionally associated with premium devices to the mainstream. Thanks to the performance and energy efficiency improvements, users will have access to high fidelity content, 4K and 8K viewing experiences, more ML features and console-like gaming graphics on their mainstream devices. At the same time, developers will be able to make more immersive content for a mainstream audience, helping the development of AR, VR and gaming in this market. Rather than having to live with the compromise of less performance and features, users will be able to access premium performance and features on less costly mainstream devices. This is the first step to making the wave of new innovation and use cases a common part of the everyday device experience.
Read the Arm.com newsroom blog about the mainstream launch.
Learn more about Mali-G57