Arm has recently announced the Immortalis-G715 GPU for mobile platforms which is also the first graphics unit from the company that will support hardware-based ray tracing. However, this is not the first Arm GPU to offer ray tracing support as the Mali-G710 GPU, which was released by the company in 2021 also included the technology, reports The Verge. Meanwhile, the company claims that ray tracing offered with the Mali-G710 GPU was entirely software-based, but the latest GPU will support hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
Arm’s attempt to improve mobile gaming
Ray tracing has been trending in the gaming world for a long time. This technology is an integral part of GPUs included with modern PCs or the latest generation of consoles. According to a report by 9to5Google, Arm is now trying to make ray-tracing more popular on Android smartphones with its new Immortalis-G715 GPUs.
What is Ray Tracing technology and how does it offer a better gaming experience
As per the report, the ray tracing technology, which was initially popularised by PC gaming, is a feature that aims to make lighting effects look more realistic. This technology tries to improve the lighting effect that hits a subject based on a scene or the lighting around the reflections that can be seen on the ground or in a glass. According to Nvidia’s explanation, “Ray tracing is a method of graphics rendering that simulates the physical behaviour of light.”
Arm has also explained the characteristics of Ray Tracing using demo videos. As per the company, “Immortalis-G715 is the first Arm GPU to offer hardware-based Ray Tracing support designed specifically for mobile.” Arm has mentioned that Ray Tracing is a “computer graphics technique” that produces almost real-life lighting and shadows by “modelling the paths that individual light rays take around a scene.” The company further explains that this technology is essential for delivering “more realistic gaming experiences.”
New GPUs announced by Arm
Arm has recently announced a flagship GPU — Immortalis-G715 — and two new premium GPUs — the Mali-G715 and Mali-G615. The flagship GPU’s design is based on the standard Mali architecture, however, Immortalis boasts more cores than the latest Mali units. To compare, the Immortalis-G715 GPU offers 10 to 16 cores, while the Mali-G715 offers seven to nine cores and the Mali-G615 comes with less than six cores. Moreover, the Mali units also don’t support ray tracing. Apart from that, the new Immortalis-G715 GPU is also expected to offer around a 15% boost in performance over its previous high-end unit while promising 15% more energy efficiency, Arm claims.
New Arm GPUs’ availability
The company claims that Android smartphones with the Immortalis-G715 GPUs integrated into their chips are expected to arrive in early 2023. However, this GPU will be available only for the upcoming MediaTek chipsets as Qualcomm uses its proprietary Adreno GPU designs, mentions the report.
The future of ray tracing in mobile gaming
The report suggests that Arm’s first hardware-accelerated GPU with ray-tracing is not the first unit to become available in the market. Samsung collaborated with AMD to develop the GPU for the Exynos 2200 chipset which also supports this technology. The importance of ray tracing has pushed Samsung and Arm to adopt this gaming technology. The availability of ray tracing will allow more Android games and developers to imbibe this technology in their titles, the report claims.
However, it is important to note that currently, this technology is very rare outside of PC gaming. Apart from that, Epic Games and Unity have also extended their support for ray tracing being adopted into more smartphone games. The report also mentions that games developed using the Unreal Engine “will have a pretty easy time taking advantage” of this technology.