Arm unveils mobile GPU with hardware ray tracing

Daniel Sims

Posts: 516   +20
Staff
Something to look forward to: One of the pillars of Arm's latest roadmap is a trio of new mobile graphics processors offering a range of new features and performance improvements. Among them is ray tracing, a feature thus far only available in the most recent game consoles and computer GPUs.

Arm announced a new flagship mobile GPU as part of a roadmap of upcoming CPUs and GPUs this week. Called Immortalis and sporting at least 10 cores, it will bring hardware-based ray tracing and a new execution engine to high-end Android phones. It will also feature Variable Rate Shading (VRS) to save performance and battery life.

Ray tracing requires significant horsepower which initially kept it out of the mobile space, but mobile hardware appears to be rising to meet that challenge. Last year's Mali-G710 already supports software ray tracing, but its successor is transitioning to hardware ray tracing similar to that of Nvidia's RTX graphics cards, AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series consoles.

Arm is not the only company to introduce mobile ray tracing. Imagination Technologies unveiled the IMG-CXT last November. Arm hasn't described Immortalis' specs in detail yet, but the IMG-CXT is supposed to reach around a quarter of the RTX 2060's ray tracing horsepower. The first Immortalis chip, the G715, is set to launch in early 2023.

Arm's roadmap also includes two new premium Mali entries. Though lacking ray tracing, they still support VRS and the new execution engine. The higher-end model, Mali-G715, will come with 7 to 9 cores, while Mali-G615 will max out at 6. The improved execution engine and other features should make all of Arm's new GPUs more powerful and efficient. Arm will hold a webinar to offer a deeper look next August 24.

Permalink to story.

 

Watzupken

Posts: 635   +519
If a high end desktop GPU struggles with RT @ high resolution without upscaling technology, I wonder what is the point of implementing RT on mobile phones. Chip makers and phone manufacturers seem to forget that phone needs to be compact while offering good battery life. Yet they cram more and more power hungry components in there with each iteration, so much so that they cannot even find a way to prevent the SOC from throttling badly. On paper, the hardware sounds impressive. In actual fact, none of them works anywhere close to their full potential because they cooking themselves in the slim chassis with hardly any way of dissipating heat.
 

ScottSoapbox

Posts: 338   +596
The RTX 2060 is weak on RT. I can't imagine 1/4th of that doing anything but the lightest of RT tasks even at lower resolutions.
 

Old Molases

Posts: 199   +41
Is this comes into reality, I wonder how would all the phones be revamped in terms of hardware, design, and performance.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,123   +822
If a high end desktop GPU struggles with RT @ high resolution without upscaling technology, I wonder what is the point of implementing RT on mobile phones. Chip makers and phone manufacturers seem to forget that phone needs to be compact while offering good battery life. Yet they cram more and more power hungry components in there with each iteration, so much so that they cannot even find a way to prevent the SOC from throttling badly. On paper, the hardware sounds impressive. In actual fact, none of them works anywhere close to their full potential because they cooking themselves in the slim chassis with hardly any way of dissipating heat.
Fair points - ARM powers hand helds , tablets, PCs ( well moreso in future ) , TVs - so I could see a growing need in the future - but yes just a proof of concept - still 720p - selective application - upscaled could work
 

kinetix

Posts: 32   +31
Well, PowerVR already had accelerated raytracing on their mobile GPUs a little over 5 or 6 years ago. Of course, nobody thought to include him in their devices, there was no reason (and I still don't see any reason, not for the graphics, maybe for some advanced spatial sound and physics calculations)