What is GPU in Mobile Phone!

Real gaming hardware or what you need to know about the graphics processor of the smartphone
The main function of the GPU or short GPU is to render 3D graphics of visual effects and display all of this on the smartphone screen.

The graphics processor receives polygons at the input - these are polygons of the minimal surface for visualization, and
after performing the necessary mathematical and logical operations above, it outputs pixel coordinates at the output.

The graphics processor operates with a huge number of independent tasks. For this, it has many execution units, there may be several thousand of them in modern desktop graphics processors.
The main emphasis in such a system is put on the number and speed of parallel computing. There are several main characteristics of the graphics processor that affect performance in one way or another!

Let's take a closer look at them:
Consider the types of architecture

To begin, consider the concept of shader!

Shader - this program is designed to run a graphics processor, they are of three types:

  • vertex process the data to the vertex of the polyhedron color coordinates and so on;
  • geometrical - they operate on the data array that is received from the vertex shaders;
  • pixel or fragmentary - work with image fragments and textures, operate with pixel coordinates, color, and so on.

There is an architecture where a separate shader core is responsible for each such type.
Now, basically, unified processors are used where vertex, geometric and pixel shaders are processed simultaneously.

The number of such cores can vary, as well as the features of the architecture of modern graphics processors is the organization of a system for managing cores, cache memory, and interaction with other modules of the central processor.

Technical process

Here everything is the same as with central processors - the smaller this value is measured in nanometers, the smaller the value - the more productive and energy efficient the processor will be.
Understand the core clock speed of the GPU. Roughly speaking, this is the number of tasks performed per unit of time, respectively, the higher the frequency at which the graphics core works, the better its performance.

Similar to the central processor, the frequency is measured in hertz, megahertz, and gigahertz.

All the above parameters affect such generally accepted numerical characteristics as:

  • the number of triangles processed per second, measured in millions;
  • the number of pixels per second is measured in millions;
  • But the number of processing operations with a floating point per second is already measured in billions.

Having dealt with the parameters of graphics processors, let us briefly recall the main players in this market:

Adreno graphics chip QUALCOMM - used in their central processor's snapdragon.

Initially, this graphics processor was developed by the company ATI Imageon, seeing the prospect of smartphones on the android operating system, qualcomm in 2009 redeemed the ATI unit by renaming ATI Imageon  to Adreno!
Popular graphics chips of this brand are adreno 50X, Adreno 40X is a budget solution. 60x and so on for flagship chips.

Consider the next player in this market  G-FORCE ULP

The brainchild of the world leader in the production of graphics systems primarily for stationary computers and laptops.

The market for devices on the operating system android and nvidia began to conquer with the central processor tegra 2, focusing mainly on optimization for games. Company by its subsequent decisions, tegra 3 and 4 staked out a considerable part of the market, and the Tegra K1 graphics processor made a splash.

The next Power VR player is the GPU with the largest share of the mobile device market. 

Development company Imaginations Technology.
This company began with graphic solutions for stationary personal computers, game consoles but could not stand the competition with ati and nvidia firms.
moved into the field of mobile devices where seriously succeeded.
In addition to smartphones and tablets on the OS, android power vr is the main supplier of graphics chips for apple.

The most iconic products are: Power VR SGX531,544mp, 545,543mp2, gx6200, gx6650


Mali - is the development of the founder of the processor architecture for most arm limited devices.
The first steps in the production of graphics processors were taken by its Norwegian arm norma division.

The first full-fledged graphics processor was the Mali 200 model, which replaced the Mali 300 - a graphics level like the sony psp.
Next was the very popular multi-core mali-400, then the T604, the flagship T760, 820, 860, and so on.
Graphic processors mali widely uses mediatek, a rock chip, and samsung from its central processors.
I do not give the results of many synthetic tests as in almost all benchmarks graphics performance is calculated only as a whole with a central processor, and as practice shows, they are not always objective!

The level of graphics in games for modern smartphones is quite high, it can easily be compared with solutions for stationary PCs.
At the same time, performance requirements for GPUs are growing, in response, developers improve architecture, increase the number of cores, increase clock speeds.

Again, we must understand that the performance of the graphics processor in applications is affected by all components of the CPU.
And no less important is the software optimization, only with the coincidence of all factors can we count on an outstanding result.
So do not forget about this when choosing a smartphone for games and everyday tasks!

SourceMIUI Forum