ARM's GPUs Will Make This Year's Mainstream Phones More Powerful Than the Current iPhone

By the end of 2009, computer and graphics chip designer ARM says we'll see the first sub-$150 cellphones using the low-power Mali 200 GPU, which will give devices greater graphics capabilities than the current-gen iPhone.

Occupying a space only millimeters wide, and supporting the Open GL ES 2.0 standard, Product Manager Remi Pedersen says that the Mali 200, and eventually, Mali 400, are designed to work in a phone that goes 2-3 days between charges. Pedersen says the first phones will appear at the end of 2009, followed by an influx of devices in 2010.

Graphically, games shown were on the level of PS2 and Xbox, able to push a decent number of pixels with a smooth framerate. A port of the original Project Gotham Racing runs on the Mali 200 GPU with virtually no lag and a decent number of polygons.

But they can also provide hardware acceleration for device UIs, process HD video and make Flash usable on mobile devices. ARM says that features such as HD video encode/decode and Flash decoding will be centered more around the multicore Mali 400, which will appear en masse sometime in 2010. And by all accounts, we can probably look forward to seeing this line of Mali GPUs in future netbooks and MIDs.

Here's quick vid of the Mali 200 in action. It's pretty smooth for a mobile GPU.