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New Exynos 5 Octa with GPU Compute Enables Cool New Applications

August 1, 2013

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Recently Samsung announced their latest addition to the Exynos 5 Octa family. With the ARM® Mali™-T628 as its GPU, this is the first silicon to reach the market which contains a second generation processor from the ARM® Mali-T600 series. Improved GPU support is the key differentiating focus of this version of the Exynos Octa. In the past GPU support was solely about graphics performance; however, with the inclusion of the ARM® Mali-T628 in Exynos 5 Octa, Samsung have brought market-leading GPU Compute support to mobile devices.

The ARM® Mali-T628 comes with support for a wide range of APIs including OpenGL® ES 3.0 and 2.0, OpenCL™ and Renderscript™. This breadth of API support opens up a wider range of use cases for consumers. ARM® has been spearheading activities for OpenGL ES 3.0 since its launch and this momentum continued with the ARM® Mali-T600 series becoming one of the first to gain conformance. ARM®'s continuous market driving is now expanding to the GPU Compute area. Previously, GPU Compute has only been in PC- or desktop-style devices. Now, ARM® Mali GPUs are enabling GPU Compute within the mobile power boundary. Samsung started shipping the ARM® Mali-T604 GPU back in back in October 2012 and since that point the ecosystem around GPU Compute has been growing with more and more partners seeing the advantages that GPU Compute can bring.

These advantages include video and image stabilization and editing (meaning users don't have to wait to get home until they edit and upload), facial detection (enabling enhanced security, access to suitable content and smile detection) and "eyes open" detection (so that the photo is taken only when everyone is looking at the camera or smiling.) GPU Compute also enables the application of filters to images and live video, opening up new forms of creativity. To see more of what GPU Compute can provide across smartphones, tablets and DTVs, watch this video.

Since this is the second generation of the ARM® Mali-T600 series, additional architectural refinements have been made which mean that the ARM® Mali-T628, when at the same performance point as an ARM® Mali-T604, provides a 50% energy-efficiency improvement, alternatively, when consuming the same level of power, offers substantial increased performance. GPU Compute is about making current use cases more efficient. The combination of GPU Compute and ARM®'s big.LITTLE™ technology in one SoC opens up new opportunities for task management. Certain tasks can be handled more quickly and using less energy on a GPU then on a CPU - math-intensive activities in particular often run better on the parallelized GPU architecture. This means you get twice the energy efficiency benefit when you combine GPU Compute and big.LITTLE, as Samsung have done in the Exynos 5 Octa. The GPU takes suitable tasks off the CPU, allowing the CPU to work more often in LITTLE mode and ultimately increases energy efficiency on the GPU and energy savings on the CPU. It also frees up the CPU to run other, more latency-sensitive tasks.

At the end of the day, GPU Compute provides more flexibility in what consumers are able to do with their devices - meaning more end devices will be available which are both energy efficient and enablers of cool new applications, so consumers will no longer have to sacrifice one feature for the other.

Trina Watt, Director of Channel Marketing, Media Processing Division, ARM

Trina Watt, Director of Channel Marketing, Media Processing Division, ARM®.
I like to think of myself as a "geek in marketers clothing". Gadgets and technology have been a passion for me as long I can remember – from dismantling my first radio when I was about 8 to now running around regularly with 3 phones, a tablet and laptop to feed my tech thirst. I started in the tech industry nearly 20 years ago in Motorola and I have never ventured far from it. I am currently focused on promoting the visually exciting Mali graphics processors. I get to work with a wide range of partners who are creating the innovative devices of the future. For a geek it doesn't get much better than that!

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