ARM technology powers the vast majority of mobile devices in the world, and the company has just announced some new designs to continue that tradition. The ARM Cortex-A17 is a new mid-range CPU core that offers improved speed and efficiency for budget devices. That's not all – there is also a new version of the Mali GPU for a complete price-conscious package.
The Cortex-A17 is not meant to replace the A15 – that's still the flagship CPU core design from ARM.
Most of you are probably familiar with NVIDIA's Tegra line of system-on-a-chip boards - Tegra 2 was behind most of the first wave of Honeycomb tablets, Tegra 3 powered the Transformer Prime and Nexus 7, and there's this little thing called SHIELD with Tegra 4 coming next week. But their latest promotional efforts take the spotlight off of a fully integrated solution to focus on NVIDIA's bread and butter: the GPU.
ARM is kind of of big deal if you like mobile devices: they release and maintain the architectures licensed by nearly all the world's mobile System-on-a-Chip (SoC) makers. Today they've announced new CPU and GPU designs specifically targeted ant the growing mid-range market, the Cortex-A12 and Mali-T622. This silicon is powerful by today's standards, but a bit less so than their A15 (Samsung's Exynos 5250, NVIDIA Tegra 4) and T624 (and higher) counterparts, designed for more economical implementation.
When it comes to mobile benchmarks, there are a few names that almost instantly come to mind: Quadrant, AnTuTu, CFBench, etc. However, those primarily test the CPU; when it comes to testing the GPU, one name stands above the rest: GLBenchmark.
A new version of GLBenchmark recently landed in the Play Store, bringing with it some changes that drastically increase the benchmark's relevance on modern devices. For starters, the Egypt benchmark, now known as Egypt HD, has been completely overhauled with richer textures, a new environment, varied shading, and more dynamic lighting/camera angles.
During Mobile World Congress nearly 2 months ago, NVIDIA released some details about a few impressive looking upcoming games. One of them was the very original looking Eden to GREEEEN. Eric summarized the game well:
Built on the Unreal Engine, Eden to GREEEEN pits you "against alien machines from another planet" (so we can conclude "alien" doesn't mean "immigrant" here) who are trying to steal Eden's natural resources. It's up to you to save Euphoria, the natural energy of Eden.
While we're not looking at an impartial source here - or at some real numbers, facts, or figures - mobile giant (and company behind the Tegra series of chips) NVIDIA has released a slide showing console, PC, and mobile graphics performance from 2001 and estimates to 2014. According to their roadmap, mobile devices will have the graphics performance of the Xbox 360 by 2013, and surpass by 2014.
Certainly looks impressive from my spot here in early 2012, but we'll just have to see when we get there.
So, we all know today marks the launch of a certain other popular tablet. But Android Police and NVIDIA are here to give you a chance to win the only cutting-edge tablet with a fully-functioning, battery-packing keyboard dock that allows you to transform your device into an Android-powered laptop, and rocks a quad-core processor (technically, 5 cores!) with a twelve-core GPU. Of course, we're talking about the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime.
Qualcomm is going to release an upgraded version of its S4 generation Snapdragon chipset in the second half of 2012, the company announced at MWC 2012 today.
The more capable and powerful S4 "Pro" variant of the original dual-core MSM8960 chipset (which can be found in the HTC One X, for example) will feature an Adreno 320 GPU as opposed to Adreno 225 in the regular S4 MSM8960. Before this announcement, Adreno 320 was scheduled to accompany only the quad-core Krait CPUs, like the APQ8064 and the MSM8974 which won't be coming out until late 2012/early 2013.
With the Mali-T400 running on the Galaxy SII, and the Mali-604 still in production, ARM is still racing ahead, releasing details surrounding the Mali-T658 GPU today - yet another next-gen chip that will support up to eight cores.
The T-658 is poised to improve on ARM’s T-604, allowing up to ten times the graphic performance of the current-gen T-400 chip (and 4 times the computing power), as well as enabling nice compatibility with ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture, which allows the set to switch dynamically between chips to achieve stunning power efficiency and performance under strain.
The closest competitor to Apple's iPhone 4S? The testers decided to make the Galaxy Tab 8.9 the Android Honeycomb representative, and even with its aging Tegra 2 chipset the Tab pretty much matched Apple's iPhone 4S inch for inch.