ARM raises the bar with 4K-capable mobile display processor

January 21, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
ARM has disclosed its highest performing and most power-efficient 4K-capable display processor to offer cost-effective, highly efficient and superior viewing experiences. The ARM Mali-DP650 display processor has been configured to enable new visual content and gaming experiences on mobile devices and act as a ‘content passport’ for users as they move from a smaller mobile screen to a larger screen, such as a 4K smart television.

“The Mali-DP650 display processor will enable mobile screens with multiple composition layers, for graphics and video, at Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) resolutions, and beyond, while maintaining excellent picture quality and extending battery life,” said Mark Dickinson, general manager, media processing group, ARM. “Smartphones and tablets are increasingly becoming content passports, allowing people to securely download content once and carry it to view on whichever screen is most suitable. The ability to stream the best quality content from a mobile device to any screen is an important capability ARM Mali display technology delivers.”

Mali-DP650 supports a diverse range of display resolutions. It is optimised for 2.5K formats including WQXGA (2560x1600 pixels) for tablets and WQHD (2560x1440 pixels) for a mobile screen. The ability to stream 4K (3840x2160 pixels) content from a mobile device to larger screens is also making the production of higher quality visual materials more cost-effective as viewers can get access wherever they are.

“The mobile market is transitioning quickly toward high resolution products beyond Full HD, with 2.5K the most popular choice now and 4K a priority target,” said Lingyun Shi, director of research, BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, supplier of semiconductor display technologies, products and services. “BOE and ARM ... ensure each other’s complementing display products are future-proofed. The ARM Mali-DP650 display processor caters to this as it is optimised for 2.5K but is also 4K capable, and by using split display mode to double the available pixel data rate along with a variable refresh it enables higher resolutions in a highly energy-efficient way.”

Mali-DP650 in detail:

• Mali-DP650 supports an array of advanced features including up to seven display layer composition, rotation, high-quality scaling and energy-efficient technologies such as ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC) within a very small silicon area

• By doubling the size of AXI bus to 128-bit and providing a MMU pre-fetcher solution, Mali-DP650 can support more 4K composition layers and offers higher