Chip designer ARM has launched two chip cores that address the demand for more immersive and interactive visual content—via virtual and augmented reality—on mobile devices.

The company's Mali-V61 multi-standard video processor enables real-time 4K120 video performance. The live streaming advantages of the Mali-V61 are enabled by a 50% bit-rate saving over previous generation codecs to enable efficient transmission of high definition content. The Mali-V61 also scales from 1080p60 on a single core, up to 4K120 on multiple cores.

Inclusion of VP9 encode in the Mali-V61 enables the ecosystem to future-proof silicon and devices, as VP9 encode is soon expected to be a requirement in Android and Google apps. The Mali-V61 VPU also features high quality HEVC and VP9 encode in a single scalable IP block.

Meanwhile, the Mali-G51 graphics processing unit (GPU) is based on ARM's new Bifrost architecture which has been updated to include a redesigned texturing unit with double the throughput.

Mali-G51 is ARM's smallest and most efficient Vulkan-enabled GPU for screen resolutions up to 4K. The processor delivers up to 60% more performance per square mm and is up to 60% more energy-efficient than its predecessor, the Mali-T830 GPU. Mali-G51 is also 30% smaller, reducing the cost of manufacturing high-volume chips while enabling it to address more high-performance use cases.

"We're now seeing demand for mainstream devices to cater for not only complex UIs and casual gaming but also low power VR and virtual spaces applications," said Shen Li, General Manager, Joint Development Product Centre, Tencent Games. "To meet these requirements a mainstream GPU needs a balance of area and energy efficiency, all within the smallest silicon area, in order to reduce costs for this competitive, high-volume segment."

Mali-V61 and Mali-G51 are available to license now and both processors support ARM initiatives such as the new version, v1.2, of ARM Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC), to deliver increased bandwidth savings, and ARM TrustZone technology to enable a foundation for consumer products.