Driven by consumer's desire to be connected anywhere and anytime and the ever increasing access to all types of content, the electronics industry continues to change. Today, up to 2 billion of mobile devices are shipped daily.
According to a recent market study from In-Stat, the market of mobile system-on-chip (SoC) devices will grow to 3.1 billion of units per year by 2015, which transforms into the number of actual devices sold in the timeframe: approximately 8.49 million daily, something hard to believe in now.
A key dynamic of this change is the continued push for a rich visual experience on any size screen. This desired experience continues to push the limits of current mobile SoCs and makes the graphics processing unit (GPU) one of the most critical components in the design and differentiation of the SoC and consumer devices.
"The shift toward graphical user interfaces and media-rich content in entertainment and computing has pushed multimedia acceleration, including graphics, video, and audio, in electronic devices from a simple co–processing function to the forefront of semiconductor and system design,” says Jim McGregor, research director at In-Stat.
New In-Stat research forecasts that these trends will push the mobile SoC TAM to over 3.1 billion devices in 2015, up from 2 billion in 2010. Devices that may require a mobile SoC include cell phones that is transforming towards smartphone, smartphones, notebooks, netbooks, tablets, digital still cameras, mp3 players, personal navigation devices, e-readers, handheld game consoles, digital camcorders, and portable media players.
It should be noted that there are three driver/magnet platforms in the mobile segment - smartphones, tablets, and notebooks PCs - that will grow at a CAGR of 25.7% as compared to 8.7% for the overall mobile market.
It is noteworthy that only 40% of the mobile SoC TAM will use at least one dedicated GPUs in 2011. It is important to note that both the number of SoCs using GPUs is increasing and the number of GPU cores per SoC is increasing throughout the forecast period.
"This change has been driven by richer content, higher accessibility to content over the Internet, industry standards, new technologies, and increased communication bandwidth. These advancements, however, also come with the challenges of increased complexity, increased performance requirements, and constraints in power, size, and cost,” added Mr. McGregor.
Intel and Imagination lead the GPU market because of their dominance in PCs and smartphones, respectively, according to In-Stat. Combined, the two are projected to comprise 61.3% of the GPU technology mobile serviceable available market in 2011.
In-stat even expects division between PC and mobile consumer electronics GPUs to narrow in the future, increasing the competition between GPU technologies.