Adreno is a series of graphics processing unit (GPU) semiconductor intellectual property cores developed by Qualcomm and used in many of their SoCs.
Adreno (an anagram of AMD’s graphics-brand Radeon) started out as Qualcomm’s inhouse brand of graphics technologies, and was used in their mobile chipset products. Early Adreno models included the Adreno 100 and 110, which had 2D graphics acceleration and limited multimedia capabilities. At the time, 3D graphics on mobile platforms were commonly handled using software-based rendering engines, which limited their performance. With growing demand for more advanced multimedia and 3D graphics capabilities, Qualcomm licensed the Imageon IP from AMD, in order to add hardware-accelerated 3D capabilities to their mobile products. Further collaboration with AMD resulted in the development of the Adreno 200, released in 2008, which was integrated into the first Snapdragon SoC. In January 2009, AMD sold their entire Imageon handheld device graphics division to Qualcomm.
Mali series of graphics processing units (GPUs) and multimedia processors are semiconductor intellectual property cores produced by ARM Holdings for licensing in various ASIC designs by ARM partners.
Like other embedded IP cores for 3D rendering acceleration, the Mali GPU does not include display controllers driving monitors, in contrast to common desktop video cards. Instead, the Mali ARM core is a pure 3D engine that renders graphics into memory and passes the rendered image over to another core to handle display.
ARM does, however, license display controller SIP cores independently of the Mali 3D accelerator SIP block, e.g. Mali DP500, DP550 and DP650. ARM also supplies tools to help in authoring OpenGL ES shaders named Mali GPU Shader Development Studio and Mali GPU User Interface Engine. Display controllers such as the ARM HDLCD display controller are available separately.