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21 July, 2020 - 11:50 By Tony Quested

Tencent Games and Arm creating nextgen mobile rendering engine tech

Chinese games giant Tencent, which owns a slice of Frontier Developments in Cambridge, has returned to the city to work on a groundbreaking project with superchip architect Arm.

Tencent Games and Arm are pledged to create next-generation mobile rendering engine technology.

With the rapid development of the computing power of smart terminal devices, the visual effects of mobile games are comparable to the traditional 3A masterpieces to some extent.

To make better use of precious hardware resources and achieve breakthroughs in the three directions of image quality, performance, and power consumption, Tencent Games and Arm have launched in-depth technical cooperation to jointly explore the forefront of next-generation mobile games Rendering technology. 

With the help of the highly mature and booming Arm® game ecosystem, the solutions are envisioned to benefit countless mobile game players and developers in the future.

Under the guidance of Arm Total Compute's comprehensive computing strategic framework, the two parties have optimised and reconstructed the existing mobile rendering pipeline with the architectural features of Mali™ GPU as a blueprint, and deeply integrated the software analysis and debugging interface for the Arm system. 

This provides what the partners call “a new and excellent experience for the development and tuning of mobile games.”

Up to now, the rendering engine has demonstrated several advanced features in the following areas:

  • The deeply optimised mobile terminal delayed shading pipeline supports the rendering of complex scenes with hundreds of dynamic light sources. It perfectly supports post-processing effects such as Bloom, Volumetric Lighting, FXAA/SMAA, and achieves extremely high rendering quality on Mali GPU.
  • Fully explore the computing power potential of Mali GPU, implement features such as Vulkan Subpass Merge and OpenGL ES Pixel Local Storage, reduce system memory reads and writes, achieve more than 30 per cent power consumption and bandwidth savings on some models, and average operating temperature Reducing 3-5 degrees Celsius enables continuous high frame rate rendering with the highest image quality.
  • The unique engine real-time tuning tool integrates the HWCPipe (hardware counter pipeline interface) from Arm to track and display performance data in real time, which can effectively improve the development efficiency of the later game project.

Cui Xiaochun, vice-president of Tencent Interactive Entertainment, said: “As the world’s leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property rights, Arm occupies a dominant position in the mobile processor market, while Tencent Games is the world’s leading game development, distribution, and operation platform. 

“Both parties have a very solid foundation. It’s the shared vision of both parties to provide the ultimate experience for mobile players. Tencent Games is very pleased to have in-depth cooperation with Arm on game engine technology to explore the potential value of Arm technology in enhancing the actual game experience. 

“From the Arm architecture Explore new features of the engine at a level to provide more and better mobile rendering technology solutions for game developers.”

Paul Williamson, vice-president and general manager of the terminal business line at Arm, pointed out: “In this mobile world we are really in, increasing computing power is making the general gaming experience possible. 

“In this era, the mobile rendering engine is Arm Mali. The crystallisation of high-performance GPU technology and Tencent’s game development experience brings developers the powerful tools necessary to make future mobile games.”

In the future, Tencent Games and Arm will further develop more in-depth and extensive cooperation with Arm in various core technology fields of mobile game engines and are committed to accelerating the pace of R & D achievements in products, empowering more and more game developers to ensure that hundreds of millions of players get a more extreme gaming experience as soon as possible on mobile platforms.

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