Friday, August 12, 2022

Arm Unveils New Chip Technologies for Video Games on Smartphones

Arm, the British chip technology firm owned by SoftBank Group, on Tuesday unveiled a set of new chip technologies aimed at making video games on smartphones look better while preserving battery life.

The latest products are designs for graphics processing units, or GPUs, most often used for video processing in gaming. Arm makes money by licensing its blueprints to chip companies like MediaTek who in turn use them to design chips for Android-based smartphones.

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Arm on Tuesday also upgraded plans for its CPUs, or central processing units, the main brains in a computer. In both cases, Arm is aiming to improve the performance of chips while using less electricity.

The latest push to improve mobile chips comes as Arm customers like Apple and Qualcomm are reducing their dependence on Arm.

While Apple and Qualcomm still pay Arm some licensing fees to ensure their chips work with software written for Arm-based chips, they now design many more critical parts of their chips themselves rather than using Arm-made designs.

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“Our latest suite of compute solutions for consumer devices will continue to raise the threshold of what’s possible in the mobile market,” said Arm executive Paul Williamson in a blog announcing the new products.

“For developers, making these immersive real-time 3D experiences even more compelling and engaging requires more performance.”

A recent report revealed a sharp drop in graphic chip prices which could presage an unexpectedly quick ending to a global chip crunch that has crippled manufacturing from smartphones to cars.

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As Intel, Qualcomm and others report, investors will weigh how dampened consumer spending from inflation, China’s COVID lockdown and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine balance out supply chain blockages for microchips.

The trigger is a drop in prices of GPUs, or graphics processing units, which are the brains of gaming machines and are spreading to other uses.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


 

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