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Arm Announces Mali D77 Display Processor: Facilitating AR & VR
[Image: MaliD77-12_678x452.png]

Display processors usually aren’t really much a common topic in the press and only few companies actually do advertise the capabilities beyond a simple mention of the maximum resolution. As the ecosystem evolves, there’s however an increasing amount of new features added into the mix that adds more nuances to the discussion that go beyond resolution, colour depth or gamut.

Two years ago, we saw the release of Arm’s new Mali D71 display processor which represented a branch new architecture and foundation for the company upcoming DP IP blocks. The D71 brought to market the brunt feature requirements to drive most of today’s higher resolution or higher framerate displays, along with providing robust and smart composition capabilities.

Today’s announcement covers the new D77 which is an evolutionary upgrade to the D71. The new IP generation brings new features that go beyond one would normally expect of a display processor, expanding its capabilities, and in particular enables the new block to open up a slew of new possibilities for AR and VR use-cases.

Currently display processors mostly act as the compositing engines inside of SoCs, meaning they take in the pixel data generated by GPU or other SoC blocks and composite them into a single surface, and handle all the required processing that is required to achieve this.

Typically today’s display controllers lie towards the end of the display pipelines in an SoC, just before the actual physical inferface blocks which transform the data into signals for say HDMI or MIPI DSI, at which point we find ourselves outside of the SoC and connect to a display panel’s DDIC SoC. Here Arm promises to provide straightforward solutions and work closely with third-party vendors which provide IPs further down the chain.

The new Mali-D77 being based on the D71 comes with all of its predecessors capabilities, with a large emphasis on AR and VR features that promise to vastly improve the experience in product employing the IP.

Among the main features are “Asynchronous Timewarp”, “Lens Distortion Correction” and “Chromatic Aberration Correction”, which provide some new unique use-cases for display processors, along with continuing to provide further improvements in the baseline capabilities of the IP such as more layers as well as higher resolutions and framerates.
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