T450 offers up to twice the performance of the previously released Mali-400 and can be scaled up to eight cores, while the Mali-400 scales up to four cores, ARM executives said.
The Mali-450, which is offered as synthesizable RTL, is intended for use in entry-level and mid-range smartphones. The core, codenamed Tyr, has a common software platform with Mali-400 and provides market-leading OpenGL ES2.0 performance.
Steve Steele, senior product manager in the media processing division, said that the Mali-450 was not simply a doubling of the multicore scalability of the Mali-400. He said that tweaks had been done to the internal graphics engines "You would get better performance from the Mali-450 but it occupies slightly more area," he said.
ARM's recommendation is that for lower graphics burdens the Mali-400 with one to four cores is used while for higher performance the Mali-450 with five to eight cores is used.
There are close links between the GPU and Cortex-based CPUs playing to ARM's strength and allowing minimum transistor count in the interface, thereby further saving energy and easing time to market.
"Mali-450 MP will drive volume in next generation products in CE and mobile markets," ARM said in a slide presentation.
However, Mali-450 does not support general purpose computing on GPU which is the domain of the higher performance Midgard architecture represented by the Mali-T604 and Mali-T658 licensible GPUs. Mali-T600 cores are expected to ship in consumer products in the second-half of 2012.
A core in development called Skyrmir, intended to debut in 2014, is the top of the Midgard range and that is already being considered for next-generation smartphones and mobile computers, ARM said in a presentation.