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ARM vows Xbox-level 3D on phones late 2009

updated 09:35 am EDT, Mon March 23, 2009

ARM Mali 200 and 400

ARM today said it should be the first to have truly console-like graphics on smartphone-grade devices. Detailing its plans to PC World ahead of this week's Game Developers' Conference, the company said its upcoming Mali-200 and Mali-400 chips will both have improved pure performance but will also support OpenGL ES 2.0. The mobile video standard is based on programmable shaders (effects instructions) that allow complex visuals like water ripples without overly complex code paths.

The Mali-200 will be relatively basic but will still be capable of rendering 16 million triangles per second (roughly 533,000 triangles per frame); the performance will be enough to drive Flash and more advanced Java, ARM said. The Mali-400 is capable of supporting as many as four graphics cores and can drive 1080p video as well as more modern 3D. ARM plans to show a port of the original Xbox version of Project Gotham Racing running as well on a cellphone as it did on the much larger tabletop game system, though the company has claimed support for Xbox 360-level visual effects.

Specific devices using the newer Mali graphics haven't been mentioned, nor has the complete list of 27 licensees slated to use it; larger examples include LG, Motorola, Pantech and Samsung. The first working devices may be ready as early as winter of this year.

by MacNN Staff



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