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Diamond Partner Q&A: ARM's Pablo Fraile on the possibilities of new VR hardware

At GDC 2018, attendees will have the opportunity to interact with an array of sponsors who help fuel the games industry, including our Diamond Partners, whose support plays an integral role to the success of GDC.

To introduce you to our Diamond Partner ARM, we've reached out to ARM's Pablo Fraile to ask about some of the company's new innovative display solutions for virtual reality, and what it has planned for the game development community at GDC!

Don't miss out! The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March will be a hub for many more great industry titans. For more visit the show’s official website.

Can you introduce yourself, your position, and what attendees can expect out of ARM during GDC?
I’m Pablo Fraile, Director of developer Ecosystems at Arm. My team is responsible for our developer advocacy and education programmes, working with leading engines and studios to make sure that their content runs optimally on Arm platforms.
GDC is our main event in terms of developer education, and this year is particularly special for us, as we’ll celebrate a significant milestone with Arm’s contribution to the game industry throughout the years.

Arm recently announced a new display solution – how does that benefit the gaming community?
The content that we see everyday on our smartphones is becoming increasingly complex, and the ability to view it in all environments, indoors and out, can be a challenge. From VR games to HDR video playback, the display quality is vital in delivering a compelling content and a superior user experience. VR and especially mobile VR continues to be an area of huge interest for Arm and our gaming ecosystem – but there are significant challenges we need to still overcome to enable an even more immersive mobile gaming experience.

VR headsets require displays that are close to the eyes, so to maintain the perceived quality of these images, we need more high-quality pixels in the same area as well as high-levels of MSAA. In addition, higher frame rates up to 120 frames per second (fps) are needed to reduce the overall latency and achieve lower persistence on LCD VR panels. The unprecedented upside to pixel throughput is an order of magnitude higher than for non-VR applications, resulting in a significant increase in design complexity and system bandwidth. This represents a major challenge to the power and area budgets for mobile devices. Our new Mali-D71 display processor brings new advances in these areas.

It’s been awhile since the introduction of ARM Connected Community, which is described as the online platform for devs to collaborate and discuss ideas. What has the reception from Developers been like since launch?
The Connected Community is a great resource for developers to connect with Arm engineers and get their questions answered. We have a large developer community from all over the world asking and answering a good volume of questions every day. Our engineers are active bloggers, helping developers to resolve problems or implement new techniques. We similarly often get partners to contribute blog posts with their experiences. But we’re always looking at ways to improve the developer experience with Arm. One thing we have identified is that we need to improve our link between the Community and our site, in order to help them find the relevant developer resources and tools they need. We’ve already begun significant work to make those two sites more seamlessly integrated. Lastly, we’re creating more resources in order to provide an easier introduction to mobile graphics, especially for beginners. We will be able to talk in more detail about this and our improved digital presence at GDC.

What can visitors to the ARM booth at GDC expect to see? Will you be unveiling any new programs or technologies?
As I say, this GDC is going to be pretty special for Arm. We have been working with our gaming partners to prepare some outstanding demos and captivating talks on areas such as sustained mobile performance, Vulkan, etc. The Mali GPU family is important, and we now have a dedicated Twitter channel for developers @ArmMali. But Arm is much more than GPUs – our processor cores are in over 95% of mobile devices, so we will be talking about some significant changes on the horizon and what that means for developers.

GDC 2018 will take place March 19-23rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via FacebookTwitter, or RSS.


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