Little fella promises tenfold performance boost
designer ARM has unveiled a new incarnation of its highly successful Mali graphics core, but the new Mali-T658 is not another well mannered plucky Brit, it’s a football hooligan on lager and speed.
The chip is said to be about ten times faster than Mali-400 MP generation chips, which are currently second only to PowerVR’s SGX 543MP2 graphics subsystem, used in Apple’s A5 chips. Mali-T658 will be produced in 28nm and 32nm processes and it will have up to eight cores.
ARM hopes to have the new GPU ready for production in 2013 and it will succeed the upcoming Mali-T604, which is set to debut in the second half of 2012. The T604 is a more conservative design, with one to four cores on 32nm or 28nm silicon.
However, this does not mean ARM will shelve the Mali-400 MP core anytime soon. It will be a part of the new Cortex A7 and A5 architectures aimed at entry level and mid range markets that should come online in one to three years time.
Interestingly, we are told that Mali GPUs got their name from some rather colourful South-Slavic languages and “mali” roughly translates to “little fella” or “little guy” in English.