Many believe that our smartphones are not going to get any better. That is, we have reached the peak smartphone -- a state where smartphones are unlikely to see any substantial improvement, at least in terms of hardware. But ARM, the semiconductor company, whose technology goes into pretty much every mobile phone on the planet, thinks that we are just getting started and we will see our smartphones getting a new range of capabilities.
At the ongoing annual Computex electronics tradeshow in Taiwan, ARM said that there are many areas for the growth of a smartphone. Some of the nascent technologies such as advanced digital assistant, virtual reality, and augmented reality will push smartphone manufacturers to make more efficient devices.
On the face of it, the company talked about a new chipset dubbed Cortex-A73 “Artemis”. The system-on-a-chip (SoC) or in simple words processor comes with an improved memory throughput and bandwidth, and better branch prediction. It is based on 10nm process, which enables the SoC to be more capable -- ARM says that A73 SoC will deliver 30 percent better performance than the existing SoC lineup.
The company also announced a new Mali graphics processing unit (GPU), the chipset that determines the graphics capabilities of a device. The new GPU works in conjunction with the A73 in 10nm mobile SOCs. It uses ‘Bifrost’ design that increases the performance while sipping less energy.
The first Bifrost GPU -- Mali-G71 -- is 50 percent faster than Mali’s current flagship Mali-T880. The bottom line? ARM says that the said GPU will offer better graphics performance than a mid-range laptop with a discrete graphics (think about a laptop with Intel Core i5 processor coupled with Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU). ARM believes that the future smartphones will be capable of doing many more things. They will compete with desktop in terms of performance, and offer graphics power that will be on par with gaming consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.