Ray tracing comes to Android with Arm’s new GPU

Ray-tracing is the hot new thing in the gaming world, an essential part of modern PC GPUs and the latest generation of consoles. Now, Arm is making a push to make ray tracing more popular on Android smartphones, with its new “Immortalis” GPU.

Arm Immortalis brings ray tracing to Android

Announced today, Immortalis-G715 is Arm’s first mobile chipset graphics processing unit (GPU) to support hardware-based ray tracing.

The Immortalis-G715 is Arm’s groundbreaking new GPU and thus delivers uncompromising performance. The design is built on top of typical Malian architecture, but in this case between 10 and 16 cores are available. Arm says the new GPU should get about 15% more boost than the previous high-end GPU, while also being 15% more power efficient.

According to Arm, we’ll see smartphones with a GPU attached to their chipset starting in early 2023, which indicates that this GPU is connected to future MediaTek chips – Qualcomm uses its own Adreno GPU designs.

Besides Immortalis-G715, Arm also announces Mali-G715 and Mali-G615. The main differences with lower-end GPUs are the lack of ray tracing, first, but also the core counts. The Mali-G715 has a core number between seven and nine, while the G615 will have fewer than six cores.

What is ray tracing anyway?

And is this the first GPU on Android to support it?

What is ray tracing? The technology that was first published in computer games is one that focuses on making lighting effects look more realistic. This can appear as lighting that best hits the target based on a scene, or reflections of lighting on the ground or on glass.

As Nvidia briefly summarizes:

Ray tracing is a method of displaying graphics that simulates the physical behavior of light.

as such the edge He points out that Arm already offered ray tracing support on the Mali-G710 GPU last year, but it was software-only. This is the first time Arm has used hardware-accelerated ray tracing in a GPU designed for Android devices.

Arm explains, and gave a video demonstration of ray tracing in action on an Android-focused GPU.

Immortalis-G715 is the first Arm GPU to offer hardware-based Ray Tracing support designed specifically for mobile. Ray Tracing is a computer graphics technology that generates realistic lighting and shadows by modeling the paths that individual rays of light take around a scene. Essentially, this provides more realistic gaming experiences.

However, while this is Arm’s first hardware-accelerated GPU with ray tracing, it’s not the first we’ve seen. The Samsung Exynos 2200 has an AMD-integrated GPU and supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

With Samsung and Arm now pushing ray tracing, it’s definitely great news in terms of feature support. Sure, it will lead to more Android games adopting support, but only time will tell that for now, the feature is still rarely taken advantage of outside of PC games.

Epic Games is already bringing support behind Arm’s new ray tracing GPU, which means games that rely on the Unreal Engine will have an easy time taking advantage of it. The unit also supports the efforts.

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