Game-on for console quality on mobiles

28 February 2008

Game Developers’ Conference, San Francisco: ARM launches Mali-JSR297 software to bring console-quality gaming to mobile phones.

This is the first software for 3D graphics that enables developers of Java applications to take advantage of the latest hardware graphics features found in OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics processing units (GPU) such as the ARM Mali200 GPU.

With the ARM Mali-JSR297 software, graphics can be created on mobile phones that are similar to those seen on game consoles and PCs.

Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, a multimedia and graphics market research firm, said: “The expectations of the gaming community continue to increase, which is driving demand for device manufacturers to deliver the next wave of user experience in mobile gaming. The Mali-JSR297 software will provide game developers with the resources they need to bridge the graphics divide among various gaming platforms.”

In order for Java applications to make use of the graphics hardware, handset manufacturers require an efficient software engine that minimises the number of calculations that Java games need to perform in order to display the graphics. The Mali-JSR297 software builds on ARM’s legacy in graphics solutions and eliminates the risk of integration issues. Furthermore, the new features in the Mali-JSR297 software reside beneath the gaming applications that users download to their phones and open up the power of OpenGL ES 2.0; the API used in consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 3 which is supported by the Mali200 GPU.

Dr. Peddie added: “Historically, graphics quality on mobile phones has lagged in comparison to those displayed on a gaming console or computer screens. The software and hardware products that ARM is now offering mean that mobile graphics will now quickly approach the quality of a dedicated games device.”

The Mali-JSR297 software is the latest addition to the Mali graphics stack, a fully integrated set of hardware and software IP that supports all the graphics standards a device manufacturer needs. ARM has further expanded this stack with the recent launch of the Mali-JSR226, Mali-JSR287 and Mali-SVG-t products for the 2D graphics market at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, earlier this month.

Ericsson mobile platforms are the lead partner for the Mali-JSR297 software, complementing the Mali200 GPU and ARM graphics middleware in the HSPA-enabled mobile platform, U500, bringing console class gaming to 2009 model phones.

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