Samsung Developing In-House Mobile GPU for 2017

According to the latest rumours, Samsung is planning on creating their very own in-house mobile GPU. Set to debut inside their Exynos series of SoCs, the new GPU will probably arrive in the 2017-2018 timeframe. The GPU was originally set to launch much earlier but it seems like those plans have been shelved.

One of the reasons for the delays is that making a new GPU from scratch is really hard and takes a long time and is even harder to get it right. Both AMD and Nvidia for instance, tend to build on their existing architectures and evolve them over time. AMD for instance, evolved their GCN architecture over time, fine-tuning and optimising it as their experience with it grew. Designing a new GPU is also a multi-year process that can take quite a while to bear fruit.

Right now Qualcomm with their Adreno series and ARM with their Mali lineup are the main mobile choices with Apple off doing their own thing. Samsung currently licences both their CPUs and GPUs from ARM but with this break on the GPU side,  Samsung may become more adventurous on the CPU side. While the Exynos lineup uses ARM designs for now, Samsung may choose to change things up to suit their needs given their core licence. It will be interesting to see if Samsung will develop more focus on say HSA or other technologies.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information 

Commodore Is Back and Targeting the Smartphone Market With New Android Phone

For those of you too young to know who Commodore is, you should know that it was a big tech company back in the ’80s who went into the Guinness record for selling thousands of Commodore 64 desktop units daily. The craze for the Commodore 64 was so big that it was named ‘the single biggest-selling computer ever’, selling around 17 millions worldwide.

But enough about what the company did in the past, let us focus on the present and the future. If you thought Commodore’s days are over, think again! There have been a bit of confusion when Commodore Amiga, a potential Apple Mac Mini rival, was announced back in 2012, but we haven’t heard anything about it since then and it also seems the Commodore USA website which delivered the latter information went offline.

However, the latest news from Commodore is that the company seems to shift its focus on the smartphone market. Besides the Commodore 64, their first desktop computer was named Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor). Well, their first ever smartphone bears the same name, so say hello to Commodore’s new PET smartphone!

The new, improved and ‘miniaturized’ version of the PET seems to be running on Android 5.0 and features a 5.5-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution display. In terms of performance, it comes with a Mediatek 64-bit Octa-Core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz and features the ARM Mali T760 GPU. Even the battery seems promising, coming with a huge 3,000 mAh pack.

Other features consist of a 13-megapixel back camera made by Sony, with a f/2.0 aperture, being able to snap pictures at a resolution of up to 4096×2304 pixels and record 1080p HD videos. There is also a 8-megapixel front camera with an 80° wide-angle, which can also be triggered by the side shutter button. You won’t be disappointed in terms of connectivity either, having the handset come with dual-sim support, 4G LTE compatibility.

To bring forth the nostalgia of old times, Commodore said to have built in a VICE C64 emulator and the Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulator and is working with some software developers to port its old ’80 Commodore games to the latest PET handset. So now that some, if not all of you are excited about the information, let’s move on to the most important bit… when will we see it on the market? You’ll be more hyped by that information.

The Commodore PET is said to launch later this week in two versions. The ‘light’ version is said to feature 2GB of RAM, 16 GB storage and be priced at around $300, while a higher-end version will be featuring 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage and a price tag of $365. In terms of storage space, you should know that the handset is said to already be fitted with a 32GB microSD card, but information states it can support microSD cards of up to 64GB. So, this means you can get your very one portable Commodore PET with a total of either 80 or 96 GB, depending on what model you fancy.

The initial launch will be in Europe with the first countries to see the handset named to be Italy, France, Germany, and Poland, but more are bound to be added to the list in the near future. Given the old Commodore fans are still out there, demands for the new PET smartphone is likely to build up really quick. Will you order one? Let us know!

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of linuxzone.es

ARM Unwraps Mali-T800 Series with H.265 Support on One Core

ARM has introduced their next generation Midgard architecture that consists of three new designs in the Mali-T800 series. It’s been about a year since ARM introduced the T700 series based on the third generation of the Midgard architecture, and this fourth generation looks even more impressive.

The T600 is the dominant ARM series at the moment while the T700 series, that was introduced about a year ago, is just starting to hit the market inside of consumer products. Since ARM only develops the intellectual property (IP) and doesn’t build the silicon themselves, we have to wait for partners to create the actual chips. ARM expects initial consumer devices based on the T800 series in late 2015 and early 2016.

The new series support OpenGL ES 3.1, DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2, and RenderScript Compute as well as ARM’s frame-buffer compression mojo and Smart Composition. The T860 will be the new flagship for maximum performance, the shrunk T830 is the balanced model on a smaller silicon area where the T820 is the entry-level that isn’t just the smallest in product number, but also silicon size.

The Mali-T860 GPU is designed for the most demanding consumers that want nothing but the best visual experience on their mobile devices. It provides an even higher performance at a 45 percent better energy-efficiency compared to the Mali-T628 GPU. The Mali-T860 features a total of 16 shader cores.

The Mali-T830 GPU strikes the perfect balance of performance and efficiency, delivering up to 55 percent more performance than the Mali-T622 and the entry-level Mali-T820 achieves up to 40 percent more performance compared to the predecessor, Mali-T622. Both of these have four shader cores and that is just half of what the T720 has.

ARM also introduced us to the Mali-V550 video accelerator and Mali-DP550 display processor, both of which implement 10-bit YUV support in order to handle 4K content. The Mali-V550 has eight cores that can be used to encode and decode 4K video at 120 Hz. ARM says this is the first video encoder that can both encode and decode H.265 video on a single core. This is very impressive on its own.

The Mali-DP550 display processor is designed to offload composition from the GPU in order to save power. It can composite up to seven layers and of course also supports up to 4K resolutions.

Thanks to ARM for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of ARM

Mali GPU Shipments Set to be up Five Times in Three Years

When we look at mobile graphics, ARM is not a brand that springs to mind, but when we take into consideration the number of digital TVs and Android based tablets that there are, ARM’s presence is a little more profound than some may think. Due to the increased popularity of mobile devices and the shift towards digital television (including the digital switch-over that took place in the UK mid last year) means that the company that is typically associated with mobile CPUs has also had a boom in its mobile graphics shipments.

In 2011, fifty million SoCs with Mali graphics on them were shipped out around the world, but the boom in tablet and TV sales has seen shipments rocket and last year the figures were already up three fold. This increased rate of shipping has seen the company make a forecast that by the end of this year, they may end up shipping just under 240 million units giving a turn over of nearly five times what ARM saw only three years back.

It’s not all plain sailing though as whilst ARM is thriving off the market trends, they’re not the only players out there and there is strong competition in the field from the likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA, but their sales dominate the mobile and smart phone markets a little more for now whilst ARM take up a 20% share of the GPU shipments for use here.

Over other options the Mali GPUs offer up a balance between power and performance, which is important when it comes to efficiency and prolonging battery life in tablets and reducing overall power consumption in TV sets. In comparison to other companies, ARM’s graphics, which 95% of the time see themselves married up with their own processor such as the Cortex-A are designed a for a system-on-chip integration which gives a single unit multiple functions, ideal for compact devices such as tablets and smart phones. With the dramatic increase in smartphone sales and the shipments estimated to hit 1.1 billion this year across the board, there is the potential available for ARM to take a bigger slice into the smartphone sector and give the competition a run for their money.