ARM’s next Mali GPU chip, expected to appear next year, should substantially increase a smartphone's performance, and could actually make mobile devices as good as an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in terms of graphics.
In order to increase performance and yet maintain low battery usage, ARM has decided to combine the CPU power with a GPU. This means that the phone's processor will be far more powerful offering users an enhanced experience when playing games and using computational photography for example.
Although processor power increasing more and more, battery lifespan does not appear to be undergoing the same process. "Battery technology doesn’t have that [Moore's Law] sort of growth”, ARM said.
Shrinking the process node does not solve the problem. Aggressive power management and multiple GPUs are necessary to balance battery consumption and performance, the chipset manufacturer added.
And which phone could be the first to be powered by ARM’s Mali GPU? Quite possibly, a Samsung device; the company has always been keen to integrate new technologies in its products and turn prototype technology into mass production, ARM suggested. The Samsung Galaxy S II, the star of Samsung’s smartphone family is currently powered by ARM’s Mali-400MP.
ARM is expecting to see its Mali-T604 chip design appearing in devices sometime in 2012.