New ARM DS-5 v5.9 Toolchain Provides Developers With an Integrated Processor and GPU Software Optimization Platform For Mobile Gaming

March 05, 2012

Additional support for graphics analysis improves system visibility and enables optimized Android development for a wide range of consumer devices based on ARM® Cortex™ Processors and ARM Mali™ GPUs

Game Developers Conference, San Francisco and Cambridge, UK – 5th March 2012 – ARM today released the latest edition of the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5™ v5.9) toolchain with additional support for graphics analysis on ARM Mali Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). The toolchain can be downloaded by developers today, enabling them to achieve integrated optimization across the whole system, including both the applications processor and GPU. The ARM DS-5 v5.9 toolchain provides significant benefits to semiconductor suppliers and OEMs, as well as mobile application and game developers, by enabling improved system visibility and decreased time-to-market. In particular, the ARM Streamline™ Performance Analyzer, within the DS-5 toolchain, allows developers to design more interactive interfaces and immersive game play for end users whilst extending battery life. This will enable next generation user experiences for use on smartphones, tablets, smart-TVs and set-top boxes.

The launch of the updated toolchain addresses the increasing demand for high-performance graphics development. Such advanced visual computing capabilities will deliver next generation smartphone and tablet applications where console-like gaming graphics, 3D User Interfaces (UI) and Augmented Reality (AR) will be the norm. Multicore systems, such as these, benefit from optimization of intensive tasks where integrated applications processor, GPU and memory subsystem designs can be configured to achieve the highest levels of performance and energy-efficiency.

By using the ARM DS-5 v5.9 toolchain, developers can quickly and easily locate system performance bottlenecks across the Cortex processors, Mali GPUs and System IP, enabling the creation of faster applications and accelerating the software development cycle.

“Whether consumers are engaging in more immersive game play, using advanced user interfaces or more interactive AR applications, developers must optimize software across the entire system,” said Lance Howarth, executive vice president of marketing, ARM. “A single tool chain for processor and GPU performance analysis helps achieve this and provides significant benefits in terms of increased productivity and reduced time-to-market.”

"Accelerated graphics is not only key to games and entertainment systems, but it is also a fundamental requirement for the Linux-based mobile phone, tablet and desktop user experience delivered through operating systems such as Android and Ubuntu," said Alexander Sack, Platform Technical Director at Linaro, "providing graphics support for our member platforms in ARM DS-5 and making this easily accessible in Linaro will help to ensure that product development teams that use Linaro technology can bring their products to market more rapidly and with a higher quality experience."

“Android developers who select multicore Mali GPU-based Cotton Candy devices as their platform of choice can benefit from the easy-to-use, integrated DS-5 tool, giving them system-wide visibility,” said Borgar Ljosland, FXITech. “Ultimately the goal is to deliver the most visually captivating experiences to consumers, whether the end content is viewed on smaller mobile screen sizes or delivered up to their DTV”.

“The success of task-intensive Augmented Reality applications relies on platforms which provide high-performance CPU plus GPU solutions within a low-power profile,” said Peter Meier, CTO and Co-Founder of metaio, a leading provider of mobile AR software. “The extension of DS-5 to allow simultaneous visibility across the complete ARM system brings significant benefits of full system analysis, which will enable immersive and natural AR experiences like the Augmented City."

The DS-5 toolchain version 5.9 is available for download now via for use on a wide variety of compatible platforms. Mali GPU specific features can be used with various platforms based on Samsung Exynos, ST-Ericsson U8500 and other Mali GPU-based System-on-Chips (SoCs).

Graphics developers using the ARM DS-5 toolchain can count on the support of the Mali Ecosystem - a comprehensive community of graphics industry players, helping developers to achieve shorter time-to-market. Additional support can be found at the Mali Developer Center - an online portal providing support and resources such as tools downloads, sample code, drivers, demos, boards, forums and documentation. The ARM Solution Center for Android (SCA) also offers a centralized resource for the wide range of companies and individuals innovating with the Google Android™ Operating System on the ARM architecture.

About the ARM DS-5 toolchain

The ARM DS-5 toochain comprises of end-to-end software development tools that are used by silicon vendors, device manufacturers and independent software vendors to accelerate and reduce risk in their development cycle. The DS-5 flagship product, the Professional Edition, in addition to the Streamline Performance Analyzer, includes an advanced multi-platform debugger, the industry leading ARM compiler, fast simulation models of Cortex processors, and a comprehensive set of documentation and examples.

ARM Mali GPU performance analysis has been integrated to all DS-5 toolchain editions, including the recently announced Community Edition. This new lightweight and free-of-charge version of the DS-5 toolchain is designed for Android application developers who write native C/C++ code to achieve best performance results and easier platform portability. The DS-5 Community Edition seamlessly integrates to existing Android SDK and NDK installations and is available for download within the users Eclipse IDE from .

Finally, announced last week at Embedded World 2012, the ARM Energy Probe extends Streamline Performance Analyzer benefits by providing users with a cost effective solution to correlate power, current and voltage data with system performance counters and software profiling. It enables the creation of a new generation of energy efficient mobile games and applications that can offer extended battery life without compromising on performance.

About ARM

ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. Find out more about ARM by following these links:

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