1.1. Mali system overview

The Mali Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) forms the basis of a high performance graphics processing solution. When implemented as part of a System-on-Chip (SoC) device, the GPU forms an integral part of the graphics solution.

Programmable hardware, such as the Mali-200 GPU or Mali-400 Multi Processor (MP) GPU, consists of programmable processors, one or more pixel processors, and a geometry processor. The geometry processor performs all geometric and vertex processing and passes this information, as data structures, to the pixel processors. The pixel processors perform rendering to produce the final image.

Entry-level, fixed-function hardware might not have a dedicated hardware geometry processor. For example, the Mali-55 GPU consists of a pixel processor that performs rasterization according to the OpenGL ES 1.1 standard. The geometric operations for the Mali-55 GPU are performed by software running on the CPU.


  • The Mali-200 and Mali-400 MP GPUs support both the OpenGL ES 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics standards.

  • Fixed-function hardware such as the Mali-55 GPU only supports OpenGL ES 1.1.

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