Mobile Technologies index - article 3

Application processors: Driving the next wave of innovation

PwC forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53 percent for application processor speed, as measured by Gigahertz per core per dollar (GHz/Core/$), through 2015, a faster growth rate than the 43 percent CAGR for 2007-2011. Stated another way, by the end of our forecast period, application processor speed will have increased five times from what it was in 2011, our baseline year. The CAGR for application processors will grow faster than the CAGR for any other device component of the Mobile Technologies Index, and second only to the infrastructure speed component (54 percent CAGR).

This essentially means that the application processor, which is equivalent to a personal computer’s central processing unit (CPU) and is also known as the mobile processor, will enable various mobile device use cases, likely to include more powerful multitasking operating systems, more immersive and natural user interfaces and more powerful graphics, including 3D. Many vendors are already designing and building these because they can be sure that the processor will be up to the tasks. This article explains how and why we reached these conclusions and explores some of the developments we might expect to see as mobile processor speeds reach the tipping point for processor-driven innovation.

All articles in the 'Mobile innovations forecast' series