ARM announces software for 3D graphics on phones

Mobile device CPU manufacturer ARM today announced Mali-JSR297 software, which takes full advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 standard GPU and allows for 3D graphics processing on mobile platforms.

OpenGL ES has been appearing with increasing frequency in handsets, such as nVidia's recent prototype phone and Symbian OS devices.

The Khronos Group's OpenGL ES spec is designed specifically for embedded systems such as mobile handsets and video game consoles, and is the API of choice for the PlayStation 3. Members of the Khronos group include graphics companies nVidia and ATI, CPU manufacturers AMD and Intel, Sony Computer Entertainment, Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, and Samsung.

At last year's Game Developers' Conference, the group ratified the standard, opening up a cross-platform environment for games to be developed upon. Games made for Sony's PS3 could therefore be easily ported down to the mobile phone. In doing this, gamers who play MMORPGs, for example, would be able to maintain play in a similar -- albeit stripped down -- mobile version of the game. This is, of course, only a possibility at present, but today's software announcement hopes to make the development process easier.

Mali-JSR297 is an addition to ARM's Mali graphics stack, an implementation of the OpenKODE set of APIs which the Khronos Group devised as a way for developers to produce cross-platform games and applications more quickly and easily. With it, calculations in Java will be minimized, allowing more sophisticated 3D graphics, which ARM claims can be similar to high-end consoles and PCs.

Release of the software is pending JSR287's approval as a standard, pre-release versions are expected in the third quarter of 2008.

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