Arm Releases ASTC Encoder 3.0 With Even Better Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 4 June 2021 at 03:00 AM EDT. 1 Comment
Arm has released version 3.0 of its encoder for Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression (ASTC), the lossy compression algorithm popular with OpenGL (ES) and Vulkan that is royalty-free and available through official extensions.

As with prior releases for Arm's ASTC command line compressor/decompressor, ASTC Encoder 3.0 is focused on more performance improvements. Arm engineers note that compared to ASTC Encoder 2.5, the new ASTC Encoder 3.0 should be "between 25% and 75% [faster]" depending upon the image quality and other settings. Using smaller block sizes and higher search qualities should yield the largest advantage in moving to ASTC Encoder 3.0. ASTC Encoder 3.0 aims to keep the image quality the same or better than ASTC Encoder 2.5.

ASTC Encoder 3.0 also features a lot of code cleaning, various API changes, new heuristics, and other changes. MacOS / Linux / Windows binaries of ASTC Encoder 3.0 along with the sources are available via GitHub.

We continue to use ASTC Encoder as an interesting CPU benchmark for texture compression. Our Phoronix Test Suite / test profile has already been updated against ASTC Encoder 3.0. Thus over on you can see astcenc benchmarks in varying configurations with new data continuing to pour in.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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