ARM IP addresses demand for richer mobile VR and 4K streaming

November 02, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
ARM has announced IP for; A multi-standard video processor with VP9 encode, the ARM Mali-V61, that addresses increasing demand for enhanced real-time video performance; and, the Vulkan-enabled ARM Mali-G51 graphics processor that extends the new Bifrost architecture to mainstream devices to enable more compelling user experiences.

The two new products are designed to address “Generation Z” and mainstream demands for more immersive and interactive visual content on mobile devices. The Mali-V61 video processing unit (VPU) promises stunning, real-time 4K120 video performance with impressive efficiency and scalability; while the Mali-G51 graphics processing unit (GPU) is ARM’s most area-efficient and energy-efficient GPU to date.

The Mali-V61 delivers the most efficient 4K live streaming for real-time video applications such as Facebook Live and Periscope. The live streaming advantages of the Mali-V61 are enabled by a 50% bit-rate saving over previous generation codecs to enable efficient transmission of high definition content. The Mali-V61 also scales from 1080p60 on a single core, up to 4K120 on multiple cores, providing the highest definition streaming on any mobile device, from premium through mainstream to entry level.

Inclusion of VP9 encode in the Mali-V61 enables the ecosystem to future-proof silicon and devices, as VP9 encode is soon expected to be a requirement in Android and Google apps. The Mali-V61 VPU is, ARM says, the only multi-standard codec featuring high quality HEVC and VP9 encode in a single scalable IP block.

Introducing the Mali-G51, ARM notes that consumers purchasing mainstream smartphones expect enhanced functionality and access to features including low power VR such as virtual spaces, superior everyday gaming, AR and fast browsing. Based on ARM’s new Bifrost architecture which has been updated to include a redesigned texturing unit with double the throughput, the Mali-G51 GPU enables these use cases, bringing premium graphics to mainstream mobile devices.