Tag Archives: GPU

Atmel and ARM Mali team up to power next-gen devices

ARM announced today that it has licensed processor and security IP to Atmel for use in devices requiring image, video and display capabilities. The license includes the ARM Cortex®-A7 processorARM Mali™-V500 video accelerator, Mali-DP500 display processor and ARM TrustZone® technology, which can now be integrated into a variety of wearable devices, toys and even automated factory tasks reliant on image processing.


Each ARM Mali GPU, video and display processor delivers high-performance in the smallest area. This will enable any screen-based device to offer a similar multimedia experience to the latest tablet or smartphone with a smooth 3D user interface, video capture and playback functionality, all at HD resolution while incorporating secure features for protection of data and content. The best part? It’s all in a low power budget.

“Atmel and ARM have a successful history of collaboration,” explained Pete Hutton, ARM Executive Vice President and President of Product Groups. “That partnership continues to build with Atmel now expanding its ARM IP portfolio to include even stronger security and richer media processing technology that prepares the way for new and exciting products in emerging markets such as IoT, wearables and factory automation.”

The incredibly popular ARM Mali™ Multimedia IP has been successful throughout the mobile space, currently ranked atop the list for shipping GPU for Android devices. “The interesting thing for me about the Atmel license announced today is not just that they now have access to ARM Cortex®-A7, ARM’s most energy efficient processor ever, and ARM’s video and display processors – it is the new and different types of markets Atmel will go on and address with the same ARM Mali IP which has done so well in the mobile market,” ARM’s Chris Porthouse noted in the company’s blog.


The energy efficiency and small die area advantages of ARM Mali-V500 and Mali-DP500 enables full HD 1080p60 resolution capabilities on a single core, which is ideally suited for cost-conscious applications. Additionally, both the ARM Mali-V500 and Mali-DP500 incorporate support for ARM TrustZone technology for hardware-backed content security from download to display.


“As IoT and wearable devices become smaller, more sophisticated and integrated, the SoCs used in the devices will need to offer more features and functionality in smaller packages,” said Reza Kazerounian, Senior VP and GM of the Microcontroller Business Unit at Atmel. “The small area footprint of the ARM Cortex and Mali multimedia solutions will allow us to offer HD video and display processing in unprecedented sizes.”


With Mali-DP500, Atmel SoCs will now have the capability to deliver UI functionality such as multi-layer composition, scaling and post-processing with support from ARM’s Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC) protocol. This technology is unique to ARM and is capable of delivering a 60% reduction in system bandwidth for video playback.



Gameduino 2 hits Kickstarter

Way back in 2011, the original Gameduino hit the streets, bringing vintage gaming to the Atmel-powered Arduino. Fast forward to 2013, and Gameduino is back with a second-gen model, courtesy of James Bowman and Kickstarter.

According to Bowman, the Gameduino 2 boasts touch control, a three-axis accelerometer, microSD storage for game assets, headphone audio output and all-new graphics on a bright 4.3 inch screen – all driven by an OpenGL-style command FT800 engine “vastly more capable” than its predecessor.

Indeed, the GPU runs the 4.3 inch 480×272 TFT touch panel screen at 60 Hz, helping to facilitate smooth animation and gameplay. Specifically, the GPU embedded video engine features:

  • 32-bit internal color precision
  • OpenGL-style command set
  • Up to 2000 sprites – sprites can be any size
  • 256 KBytes of video RAM
  • Smooth sprite rotate and zoom with bilinear filtering
  • Smooth circle and line drawing in hardware – 16x antialiased
  • JPEG loading in hardware
  • Built-in rendering of gradients, text, dials and buttons

“It can load JPEGs, supports alpha transparency, and has a full 32-bit color pipeline,” said Bowman. “Gameduino 2 is designed, tested, documented and the prototype is built. The videos were all taken from the real hardware – everything you see is running on an Arduino with the prototype.”

Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out the official Gameduino 2 project page on Kickstarter.