ARM announces faster GPUs for smartphones and tablets

UK-based ARM Holdings has announced its second-generation graphics processing unit designs, which it says offer a 50% performance boost

UK-based ARM Holdings has announced its second-generation T-600 graphics processing unit (GPU) designs, which it says offer a 50% performance boost.

The architecture's performance gain, the UK chip designer said, could enable smartphones and tablets to run more graphics-intense video games and run photo editing software faster.

ARM, which dominates the market in mobile central processing units (CPUs) hopes the new GPUs will boost its position in the mobile graphics market, currently dominated by rival UK firm Imagination, according to the BBC.

Both companies make money by licensing their technologies to manufacturers that combine them with other technologies to produce chips for mobile computing devices.

"The challenge as we move forward with more complex processors – both CPU and GPU – is that the interaction between the two becomes much more critical," Kevin Smith, ARM's vice-president of strategic marketing, told the BBC.

GPUs were originally designed to handle only graphics, but can now be used for other parallelisable computing tasks, such as speech recognition, image processing and pattern matching.

The performance of computing devices can also be boosted by dividing tasks between its CPU and GPU cores.

ARM said the first products using the new GPU technology should launch by September 2013.


Image: KimSteele/Photodisc/Thinkstock

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