ARM graphics aren't bad. Samsung's Galaxy S III with its quad-core Mali 400 GPU leads the pack in mobile prettiness, but the upcoming ARM GPUs, scalable to eight cores, could blow it out of the water.
While we're still waiting on the next generation of Mali chips, which includes the T604 and the T658, ARM is already teasing three more upcoming models: a quad-core T624, and the eight-core scalable T628 and T678. OK, but how much better are these babies going to be? Fifty per cent, without needing more power. According to ARM, they're shooting to handle "console-class gaming", 4K and 8K videos, and the ability to jack up the UI of phones and tablets to a nice 60fps. Sure, the Tegra 3 GPU is already scalable to 12 cores, but ARM is pretty ubiquitous.
On top of all that, ARM's also making a bid to try and standardize mobile graphics with a brand new codec: Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC). According to ARM, ASTC will be able to handle all kinds of different bit-rates, colour standards and textures. If it works as well as ARM hopes, this should mean that developers would stop having to make explicit codec decisions based on platform, which would make it that much easier to have apps be multi-platform.
Exciting as that all is, there's no word on when we can expect to start seeing these things. But if they can manage to live up to the hype, the answer is "not soon enough". [Engadget]