Mali Technologies FAQs
Why should I use Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression?
Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression or ASTC is a major step forward in terms of image quality, reducing memory bandwidth and thus energy use. It also offers a number of advantages over other texture compression schemes:
- Flexibility, with bit rates from 8 bits per pixel (bpp) down to less than 1 bpp. This allows content developers to fine-tune the tradeoff between quality versus texture size and upload bandwidth.
- Support for 1 to 4 color channels, with modes for uncorrelated channels for use in mask textures and normal maps.
- Support for both low dynamic range (LDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) images.
- Support for both 2D and 3D images.
ASTC specification includes two profiles: LDR and Full. Both of these are supported on the latest Mali GPUs. The smaller LDR Profile supports 2D low dynamic range images only. It is designed to be easy to integrate with existing hardware designs that already deal with compressed 2D images in other formats. The LDR Profile is a strict subset of the Full Profile, which also includes the 3D textures and high dynamic range support.
What are the benefits of Arm Frame Buffer Compression?
The Arm Frame Buffer Compression (AFBC) protocol reduces the overall system-level bandwidth and power cost of transferring spatially coordinated image data throughout the system by up to 50%. This enables increasingly complex SoC designs to be created within the thermal limit of a mobile device.
AFBC is a lossless image compression protocol and format, which minimizes the amount of data transferred between IP blocks within a SoC. The lossless compression ratios achievable with AFBC are comparable with other leading standards but with the added benefit of fine-grained random access, which importantly allows AFBC to be applied throughout other IP blocks within your SoC design.
AFBC is available in all Arm Mali Video Processors, Arm Mali Display Processors and recent Arm Mali Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). AFBC is also available as a licensable IP for use with other IP blocks in a system that uses an Arm Mali GPU or Arm Mali Video processor.
Arm Frame Buffer Compression has the following properties:
- Lossless data compression
- Random access down to 4x4 block level
- Bounded worst-case compression ratios
- Support for both YUV and RGB formats
- Compression ratios comparable to other lossless compression standards
- YUV compression ratio of typically 50%
Learn more about other Arm Mali Technologies
What are the key features of Transaction Elimination?
Transaction Elimination (TE) is a bandwidth saving feature of the Arm Mali Midgard and Bifrost GPU architectures which allows for significant energy savings on a System on Chip (SoC) level. When performing TE, the GPU compares the current frame buffer with the previously rendered frame and performs a partial update only to the particular parts of the frame that have been modified, thus significantly reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted per frame to external memory.
Some of the key features of TE are:
- No impact to image quality
- Agnostic of frame buffer format
- Per tile comparison between frame buffers
- 16×16 pixels tile size
- CRC-based signature comparison
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