Display processor IP shrinks VR headsets

Eliminating motion sickness and optimised for 3k120, the Mali-D77 display processor IP has new fixed function hardware for 40 per cent system bandwidth saving and 12 per cent power savings for virtual reality (VR) and head-mounted displays (HMDs.)

Arm says that the IP enables the development of smaller, lighter, more comfortable untethered VR devices, scaling from HMDs to standard premium mobile displays

The Mali-D77 includes VR acceleration functions, such as offloading specific compute functions from the graphics processor unit (GPU) to the dataflow processing unit (DPU) leading to higher quality visuals and eliminating motion sickness, freeing up more GPU cycles and associated system bandwidth.

Other Mali-D77 enhanced capabilities include lens distortion correction (LDC), which pre-distorts the images to counter the effect of the lens when images are viewed through a VR headset.

There is also chromatic aberration correction (CAC). This pre-separates the colour channels in the opposite direction in order to counteract the blurring effect caused by the lenses of the VR headset.

Another feature is asynchronous timewarp (ATW) which translates and re-projects the virtual scene based on the latest head pose and position of the headset in the 3D space.

Arm says that up to 40 per cent reduction in bandwidth, in typical VR use cases when VR processing and composition occur on the Mali-D77. There is also a 12 per cent power saving for VR workloads, enabling higher quality visuals while freeing up GPU cycles.

The IP can also be integrated into a common SoC platform with existing developer ecosystems for switching across multiple devices such as a VR HMD to LCD/OLED large or small screens capable of displaying 4K high dynamic range (HDR) scenes. The intention is to make VR devices more affordable.

The Mali-D77 DPU can drive higher resolutions (over 1000ppi) VR displays. Arm and Synaptics are collaborating to drive higher resolution without increasing the cost of VR devices combining the Mali-GPU, Mali-D77 and Synaptics’ R63455 VR display.

Picture credit: iStock


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