Chipmaker Arm on Tuesday introduced its next-gen mobile GPU. The Immortalis-G715 has ray tracing support in its hardware and 15% improved performance for better gaming on Android phones coming next year, Arm said.
While Apple, Google and Qualcomm haven’t released a chipset with ray tracing in hardware, Arm isn’t technically the first. Samsung beat it to the punch earlier this year when some versions of the Samsung Galaxy S22 launched with the company’s Exynos 2200 chipset that included ray tracing at the hardware level. Arm is still a close second, as no other major mobile chipset has been announced with ray tracing, a realistic lighting technology that’s served as a high-water mark for desktop gaming performance in the last few years.
Phone chipsets have supported software-based ray tracing, like Arm’s Mali-G710 GPU from last year, but implementing it in the hardware leads to “more realistic and immersive experiences,” according to a press release.
The Immortalis also has another new mobile gaming trick, variable rate shading, that achieves 40% better frame rates by sharpening graphics right where the action is happening and rendering elements in the background in lower resolution.
Arm expects the first phones with the Immortalis GPU will launch in 2023. Arm licenses its GPU technology to chipmakers for use in chipsets — for instance, last year’s Mali-G710 GPU was bundled into MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 chipset, which powered the Oppo Find X5 Pro Dimensity flagship phone.
MediaTek chips are slowly making their way to more high-end phones, but mostly from brands like Oppo and Vivo that aren’t marketed in the US. Consumers in America may not see an Arm Immortalis GPU anytime soon.