There’s been a big push in VR lately with a number of content creators wanting to take advantage of the new technology. We’re multitasking with our phones more and more, HDR has started to become a marketing point, and the resolution of our screens is higher than it’s ever been. To keep up with these new demanding uses, ARM has announced a new display processor for phones, tablets, VR headsets, and TVs/STBs of the future called Mali-Cetus.
For our current generation of display processors, they outlined a number of requirements and detailed the popular use cases that we had previously needed. So our current generation was first optimized for 1080p at 60 frames per second, 1440p at 60 frames per second, and then 1600p at 60 frames per second. Adding on to this, they looked at what we’re starting to use our devices for, and what will soon start to catch on as more smartphones and tablets are introduced to the market.
This meant the next-generation Mali-Cetus display processor needed to address the higher display requirements for VR (which is 4K at 90 frames per second). ARM knows that smartphones and tablets are being used more and more for multi-tasking so they needed to address quad scaling for more layers. They need to have it handle UHD content such as HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma, and Dolby Vision. Naturally, they also wanted to focus on power and quality optimizations for the systems that will utilize this architecture.
Mali-Cetus is a big step up from the Mali-DP500/550/650 display processors that we currently know of. We’re used to ARM releasing small iterations of this technology but realized they need to make a clean break in order to handle the growing demands of our mobile devices. It will, of course, take a while before this is even finalized and makes its way into our smartphone SoC, but it does give us a look at what we can expect to see in the future.