UK-based chip designer ARM, that has its designs used in most mobile phones and tablet computers amongst other products, has said that they expect to see the processors and graphics capabilities of these devices match those of PCs within a few years.
Capabilities such as 1080p high definition displays, 3D graphics, and GPU power have taken years to develop and mature on PCs, but mobile computing power is fast catching up and already offer support for a number of these technologies. With smartphones and tablets offering larger displays, people are using them for more and more tasks previously only available on a PC such as email, office tools, photo editing, with many otherwise non-gamers making use of mobile games.
Indeed, Kevin Smith, VP of strategic marketing at ARM’s Media Processing Division noted that “mobile gaming is one factor driving the industry at the moment, with 3D graphics now better than cutting edge games were on the PC a few years back”. He then went on to predict that by 2016 mobile devices will be able to support 3D gestures (like the Microsoft Kinect) and multi-player gaming – possibilities only currently available with expensive dedicated gaming hardware.
Additionally, with televisions and screens boasting 4K2K resolutions (4X 1080p) about to come to market, users will want to be able to output to those screens from their mobile devices – meaning that the processing power will need to cope. This demand is being addressed by ARM by aligning its CPU and GPU development, something it has been doing since the Cortex A9 design – and all with a focus on reducing power consumption. With quad-core mobile chips now just around the corner from ARM, there is soon going to be little you can do on a fully fledged PC that you can’t do on a mobile device – with that mobile device only sipping power by comparison.
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