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This glossary describes some of the terms used in ARM manuals. Where terms can have several meanings, the meaning presented here is intended.

COLLAborative Design Activity (COLLADA) files

Open-standard XML files that describe digital assets. COLLADA files are compatible with many graphics applications.


See COLLAborative Design Activity (COLLADA) files.

Fragment shader

A program running on the pixel processor that calculates the color and other characteristics of each fragment.


See Graphics Processor Unit.

Graphics application

A custom program that runs on the platform CPU and uses the Mali GPU to display graphics.

Graphics Processor Unit (GPU)

A hardware accelerator for graphics systems using OpenGL ES and OpenVG. The hardware accelerator comprises of an optional geometry processor and a pixel processor together with memory management. Mali programmable GPUs, such as the Mali-200 and Mali-400 MP GPUs, consist of a geometry processor and at least one pixel processor. Mali fixed-function GPUs, such as the Mali-55 GPU consist of a pixel processor only.


A name given to graphics software and hardware products from ARM that aid 2D and 3D acceleration.

Mali Binary Asset

The Mali Binary Asset file format provides an optimized binary representation of a 3D scene for loading into the Mali Demo Engine Library.

Mali Binary Asset Exporter

A converter tool for Windows that converts XML-based COLLADA documents to the Mali Binary Asset format for use with the Mali Demo Engine. The Mali Binary Asset Exporter is a component of the Mali Developer Tools.

Mali Demo Engine

The Mali Demo Engine is a component of the Mali Developer Tools. The Mali Demo Engine library enables you to develop 3D graphics applications more easily than using OpenGL ES 2.0 alone.

Mali Demo Engine Library

A C++ class framework for developing OpenGL ES 2.0 applications for the Mali GPU. The Mali Demo Engine Library is a component of the Mali Developer Tools.

Mali Developer Tools

A set of development programs that enables software developers to create graphics applications.


A pixel is a discrete element that forms part of an image on a display. The word pixel is derived from the term Picture Element.


A program, usually an application program, running on the GPU, that calculates some aspect of the graphical output. See fragment shader and vertex shader.

Shader Library

A set of shader examples, tutorials, and other information, designed to assist with developing shader programs for the Mali GPU. The Shader Library is a component of the Mali Developer Tools.

Vertex shader

A program running on the geometry processor, that calculates the position and other characteristics, such as color and texture coordinates, for each vertex.

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