ARM has launched what it calls its highest performing, most power-efficient 4K-capable mobile display processor, the Mali-DP650. It is envisaged that the new processor will enable a step up in visual experiences on gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and smart TVs. ARM's Mali DP range is built to accompany ARM's GPUs in SoCs, they use a "very small silicon area" and allow the system to offload basic display tasks such as multi-layer composition or image post-processing to reduce overall SoC power consumption.
"The Mali-DP650 display processor will enable mobile screens with multiple composition layers, for graphics and video, at Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) resolutions and beyond while maintaining excellent picture quality and extending battery life," said Mark Dickinson, general manager, media processing group, ARM. It is optimised for 2.5K formats including WQXGA (2560x1600 pixels) for tablets and WQHD (2560x1440 pixels) for smartphones and is able to stream 4K content to larger screens like a monitor or TV.
Interestingly Dickinson identified a trend of smartphones and tablets "becoming content passports." This means that a mobile device downloads some content and is used to watch some portion of the media, which is often later (at least partly) watched on a bigger screen in the home. "The ability to stream the best quality content from a mobile device to any screen is an important capability ARM Mali display technology delivers," said Dickinson.
A leading supplier of semiconductor display technologies, products and services, BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, says that mobile devices with 2.5K screens are the most popular choice now with 4K becoming a priority target. Thus BOE and ARM are working on new graphics technologies, like the Mali-DP650, to cater for 2.5K and 4K media enjoyment.
Key details of the Mali-DP650 are as follows:
- Mali-DP650 supports an array of advanced features including up to seven display layer composition, rotation, high-quality scaling and energy-efficient technologies such as ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC) within a very small silicon area
- By doubling the size of AXI bus to 128-bit and providing a MMU pre-fetcher solution, Mali-DP650 can support more 4K composition layers and offers higher memory system latency tolerance than the Mali-DP550 display processor
- Mali-DP650 is designed to efficiently connect to ARM's System MMU (ARM CoreLink MMU-500) enabling systems to achieve up to 4K at 60fps display resolutions
- The split-display mode feature enables MIPI D-PHY solutions to deliver resolutions beyond 1080p to mobile panels and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support allows for panel power saving, further extending the battery life
- Mali-DP650 is delivered with software support for the latest version of Android optimized to work alongside the Mali-GPU and Mali-Video drivers.