Course/Lab Material for Teaching Graphics Processing


Graphics and Gaming


The global video game industry is growing rapidly and it is expected to the worth over $100 billion dollars by 2018.   This growth is mainly driven by the uptake of gaming on mobile devices.   With a vast ecosystem that’s geared towards producing high performance and low energy devices, ARM® IP is at the heart of innovation in the mobile gaming space. Indeed, ARM Mali graphics processors can be found in many of the top selling mobile devices in the market today including the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Google’s Nexus 10 tablet.   Mali offers developers a cost efficient, high performance and low energy GPU that ensures fantastic visual experiences.  


Learning how to develop efficient games on mobile platforms is an important skill for engineering graduates. As such, the ARM University Program is addressing this through the creation of Graphics and Gaming Education Kit. The latter covers key topics of this area including:


  • Introduction to Graphics/Gaming
    •  Mobile Gaming
  • Introduction to Graphics Processors 
    •  The MALI GPU from ARM
  • The MALI OpenGL ES SDK 
    • First Android Native Application
    • Introduction to Shaders
    • Graphics Setup
    • Simple Graphics: Triangle,  Cube,  Texture Cube
    • Lighting
    • Normal Mapping
    • Asset Loading
    • Vertex Buffer Objects
    • Android File Loading
  • Using a Game Engine
    • Why use a game engine?
    • A Simple Game Design
    • Design and Architecture
    • Animations
    • Audio
    • 3D effects
  • Advanced Game Design


The full kit includes hardware boards donated by partners, software licenses and a complete set of teaching materials from ARM comprising lecture notes and hands-on experiments with solutions—all available to professors worldwide (subject to a qualification process). To access samples of our teaching materials or to make a full donation request please click on the donation request below.

The ARM University Program recommends the following hardware for use with the Graphics and Mobile Gaming Education Kit:

iFive AIR Tablet

The iFive Air contains an ARM Cortex-A17 32-bit core within a RK3288 Quad Core.  It also contains a Mali-T764 GPU. The device comes with the Android 5.1 OS, with a long battery life thanks to the built-in 8200mAh battery.  

Rockchip RK3288

The Rockchip RK3288 is the first SoC that uses the ARM Cortex-A17 architecture. The RK3288 is a low power, high performance processor for mobile phones, personal mobile internet devices and other digital multimedia applications. 

Google Nexus 10

The Google Nexus 10 is the first tablet available to consumers containing the new Exynos 5250 applications processor. This Google experience device comes loaded with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is the first device to accelerate Renderscript Compute on the GPU.

The ARM University Program recommends the following software for use with the Graphics and Mobile Gaming Education Kit:


The iFive Air contains an ARM Cortex-A17 32-bit core within a RK3288 Quad Core.  It also contains a Mali-T764 GPU. The device comes with the Android 5.1 OS, with a long battery life thanks to the built-in 8200mAh battery.





Cocos2d-x is an open-source game framework written in C++, with a thin platform dependent layer. It is widely used to build games, apps and other cross platform GUI based interactive programs. 





Eclipse IDE

The Eclipse IDE combines language support for multiple languages into a single IDE.





Mali Graphics Debugger

The Mali Graphics Debugger allows developers trace OpenGL ES and OpenCL API calls in their application and understand frame-by-frame the effect on the application to help identify possible issues.





ARM DS-5 Streamline Profiling tool

The ARM® Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) tool chain provides complete system wide performance analysis to improve performance of your graphics and compute applications.





Mali Offline Compiler

The Mali GPU Offline Shader Compiler is a command line tool that compiles shader code written OpenGL ES Shading Language (ESSL) in offline mode. It allows checking that shaders compile properly before the availability of any Mali hardware and provides verbose output about shader performance and error messages for shader optimization and debug.





Android Studio

Android Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Android app development that has intelligent code editing, built-in emulators and instant run-time environments.

The ARM University Program recommends the following textbook for teaching Graphics and Mobile Gaming:

Accompanying teaching materials


OpenGL ES 3.0 Programming Guide (2nd Edition)

Author: Dan Ginsburg, Budirijanto Purnomo, Dave Shreiner, Aaftab Munshi
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

ISBN-13: 978-0321933881
ISBN-10: 0321933885

OpenGL ES 3.0 Cookbook

Author: Parminder Singh
Publisher: Packt Publishing

ISBN-10: 1849695520
ISBN-13: 978-1849695527


Cocos2d-x by Example: Beginner's Guide - Second Edition

Author: Roger Engelbert,
Publisher: Packt Publishing,

ISBN-10: 1785288857
ISBN-13: 978-1785288852


Beginning C++ Through Game Programming

Author: Michael Dawson,
Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR,

ISBN-10: 1305109910
ISBN-13: 978-1305109919

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition

Author: Jesse Schell
Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press

ISBN-10: 1466598646
ISBN-13: 978-1466598645


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