GPU Compute Technology: Benefits in the New Exynos 5 Octa
August 19, 2013
Mobile processors have advanced rapidly over the past several years due to the development of new technologies and manufacturing processes that allow for significantly increased performance and power efficiency. A more recent development from ARM®, GPU Compute technology harnesses the power of a component that was traditionally reserved for graphical processing and uses it to improve system-level performance and workload distribution. We'll review the advantages and applications of this technology in the new Exynos 5 Octa (5420) to give you a better understanding of its importance.
What is GPU Compute Technology?
Over time, the market has come to expect higher and higher resolution displays, which has been a key driver in GPU advancements. Both resolution and power increasingly dominate processing requirements for the next generation of smartphones and tablets. As we demand more and more of our mobile devices, we have to find ways to meet these evolving needs without sacrificing power efficiency. Enter ARM®'s general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU), also known as GPU Compute technology. GPU computing is best defined by the ARM® experts who developed it:
"…The computational performance of the GPU, historically used for graphics, is harnessed to augment the main processor (CPU) for certain applications where the GPU architecture will be more effective. The result is improved performance and energy-efficiency and a more efficient use of the system as a whole, making computational photography, computer vision, advanced imaging, point-of-interest extraction and augmented reality possible because of the extended processing capacity."
Long story short, GPU Compute allows a system to match workloads to specific compute devices for optimal performance and power savings. ARM® GPUs with GPU Compute are more efficient and better suited than the CPU when it comes to executing certain tasks such as math-intensive operations. By taking on these tasks, the GPU alleviates some of the CPU's workload and lowers overall power consumption.
Advantages of GPU Compute
GPU Compute technology comes with a host of benefits, from increased performance and energy savings to ramped-up application support. Our most recent processor, the new Exynos 5 Octa (5420), packs an ARM® Mali™-T628 with GPU Compute that significantly enhances graphics performance. Compared to the Mali-T604 GPU in the Exynos 5 Dual, the Mali-T628 can reach the same performance levels while providing a 50% improvement in energy efficiency. The newer generation of the Mali-T600 series also shows increased performance levels when consuming the same amount of power. By combining GPU Compute technology with ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing architecture, the new Exynos 5 Octa benefits from two layers of energy efficiency.
Trina Watt, Director of Channel Marketing at ARM®, recently wrote a guest blog post on the advantages associated with GPU Compute functionality. Depending on the mobile device, GPU Compute enables video and image stabilization and editing, advanced facial detection, "eyes open" detection for photo-taking and filter application to images and live video. All of these capabilities open up a wide range of possibilities for advanced apps and features that aren't currently supported on many phones and tablets. Better still, overall optimization of system workload means you can run those cutting-edge apps without unduly draining battery power - a win-win outcome for any mobile system.
GPU Compute in Action
GPU Compute has already made its way into mobile devices through Exynos 5 Dual -equipped products like the Google Nexus 10. You'll see the benefits of this technology in action once you experience this tablet's super high-resolution display. With a 2560x1600 (WQXGA) screen resolution, text is sharper and colors are more vivid than anything you've experienced on mobile.
You'll also find this functionality on advanced development boards like the Exynos 5 Dual-powered Arndale board, which includes a number of common peripherals. With this full-fledged prototyping platform, developers can get a handle on working with GPU Compute-equipped systems in preparation for the first round of mobile devices to implement the new Exynos 5 Octa (5420).
By pulling together high-end ARM® CPUs, ARM® Mali graphics with GPU Compute and advanced technologies like ARM® big.LITTLE processing, Samsung Exynos has fully realized the ideal GPU Compute system. Stay tuned for news about upcoming devices that will run on the new Exynos 5 Octa (5420)!
Need to know more? Head over to ARM®'s blog to find out how GPU Compute technology can transform your mobile and TV experience.