Imagination reached out to 428 technology users from across our connected society as part of its Technology of the Future Survey, which explored user attitudes to new technologies, like wearables and the Internet of Things, as well as the social impact of technology on our security and privacy.

Some of the findings showed interesting attitudes to the way technology is already being used.

Well over half (60%) of the respondents who have a device with a front-facing camera use it as a mirror, and some use it solely as a mirror (9%).

Over half of the respondents (55%) use smart devices in the restroom, presumably for browsing as only a few (8%) reported using their smart device to call someone while in the restroom.

But while some users are clearly finding interesting new uses for their mobile tech others are still getting to grips with it. In the ‘write in section’ of the survey, one of the top requests was for built-in instructions in devices.

Imagination IP: working together for mobile technologies

Whether you’re designing application processors for smartphones, tablets, portable game console or any other mobile platform, it is becoming cleared that the way in which users interact with their devices means SoCs need much more than high-performance CPUs and GPUs; consumers want their mobile devices to handle high-speed gaming, fast web browsing, multimedia capturing and editing, and everything in between.

Because Imagination designs all the blocks SoC designers need to build a complete solution, we have made several optimizations which enable more efficient interactions between different processors. For example, PowerVR GPUs (graphics processing units) and VPUs (video processing units) can share system level cache (SLC) memory which generates important savings in bandwidth and lowers power consumption. Additionally, we’ve recently enabled a number of ground-breaking features in our PowerVR ‘Raptor’ ISP architecture for camera modules, creating optimizations between and within IP blocks to allow implementation of ultra-efficient subsystems. ‘Raptor’ provides flexible access to both programmable and hard wired system resources, enabling optimizations such as:

  • Zero memory™ output to video encode and vision accelerators for low-power, low-latency applications; fast, low power vision systems; and flexible sensor array support
  • Image analysis to produce metadata for improved video encode bitrate and quality control
  • Optimized software to implement zero copy computational photography via standards extensions
  • Re-entrant streaming port to allow image data to be streamed to custom hardware vision processors and then re-inserted to the ISP pipe

Close connections between ‘Raptor’ IP cores and other SoC resources can break down the barriers to enabling full support of Ultra HD video and high pixel count photography in mobile devices and tablets. Close coupling to Imagination’s PowerVR video encoders core reduces memory traffic and enables better allocation of bitrate to produce superior image quality for a given bitrate.

Imagination hardware IP for mobile technologies

When it comes to the new Ensigma combo IP cores that we’ve launched at Embedded Technology 2013, advantages include:

  • Unified memory architecture for the lowest possible silicon footprint
  • Maximum use of unified system memory, minimizing on-chip RPU memory demands for data and program storage
  • Removal of interface bottlenecks and processing requirements for USB/SDIO
  • Reduction of off-chip communication and external I/Os for increased power savings
  • Better host power management for reduced overall system power consumption

MIPS CPUs, PowerVR graphics processors (GPUs), PowerVR video/vision processors (VPUs), FlowCloud IP and other Imagination solutions, Ensigma RPUs are key elements of Imagination’s comprehensive IP portfolio for tomorrow’s mobile processors. These processor IP architectures are optimized for integration into next-generation System-on-Chips (SoCs) for a broad range of applications and can be licensed in various flexible configurations depending on each customer’s requirements.

To stay updated on the latest news and announcements related to our mobile ecosystem, follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR) and keep coming back to our blog.

About the author: David Harold

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David Harold is senior director for marketing communications at Imagination Technologies. David worked for several advertising and PR agencies promoting everything from fashion to valves before specialising in technology. David joined Imagination in 1998 and has been with the company though its rebranding from VideoLogic, its entry into the console and mobile markets, the launch of the Pure brand, and the launches of key products including Pure’s Evoke, Bug and Sensia, Caustic’s R2500 and R2100 ray tracing boards and Imagination’s Ensigma, Meta, PowerVR and Flow IPs.

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