Qualcomm has introduced its next-generation visual processing technology with new versions of its graphics processing unit (GPU) and image signal processing (ISP) unit, to deliver significant advancements in performance and power efficiency to Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. The company says that the new Qualcomm Adreno 5xx GPU architecture delivers increased speed and efficiency over the previous generation and supports high-definition mobile graphics while introducing general-purpose compute co-processing for even lower power consumption. The first two GPUs available on the new architecture, the Adreno 530 and Adreno 510, will be available integrated within the forthcoming Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 620/618 processors. In addition, Snapdragon 820 will also debut the new 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra image signal processing (ISP) unit, designed to support DSLR-quality photography and enhanced computer vision. Devices based on Snapdragon 820 are expected to be available in 1H 2016. Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno and Qualcomm Spectra are products of QTI.
Designed for scalability, the Adreno 5xx architecture is the foundation of Qualcomm Technologies' next-generation custom GPUs and is the successor to the Adreno 4xx family. Newly integrated within the Snapdragon 820, the Adreno 530 is the highest-performance GPU ever designed by Qualcomm Technologies. The new GPU promises up to 40 percent lower power consumption and 40 percent faster performance for both graphics and GPGPU compute when compared to the Adreno 430.
Capabilities in graphics and compute APIs include OpenGL ES 3.1+AEP (Android Extension Pack), Renderscript, as well as the new OpenCL 2.0 and Vulkan standards. Vulkan minimizes driver overhead and enables multi-threaded performance on mobile and embedded platforms.
The GPU supports 64-bit virtual addressing, allowing for shared virtual memory (SVM) and efficient co-processing with 64 bit CPUs.
Improved fine-grain power management, new rendering, compositing and compression techniques to enable higher performance at lower power consumption and reduced DRAM bandwidth.
The Adreno 530 supports up to 4K HEVC video playback at 60fps over HDMI 2.0 to Rec. 2020 ultra-high definition (UHD) displays and TVs. Improved Qualcomm EcoPix and Qualcomm TruPalette contribute to longer battery life and superior pixel quality. Last but not least, the Adreno 530 has software compatibility with Adreno 510.
Introduced with the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm Spectra ISP is Qualcomm Technologies' most advanced dual-imaging signal processing unit to-date. It promises to offer superior image quality, with more natural skin tones via advanced, 14-bit dual ISPs supporting up to 3 simultaneous cameras (e.g. one facing the user, and two rear facing), and up to 25 megapixels at 30 frames per-second with zero shutter lag.
Qualcomm Spectra ISP’s flexible hybrid autofocus framework and multi-sensor fusion algorithms support next generation computational photography.
Improved power efficiency when compared to previous generations, better noise immunity and higher throughput via compression techniques and use of the latest MIPI serial C-PHY interface are also inluded in the long list of features.