Application processors: Driving the next wave of innovation

53% CAGR (2011-15)
43% CAGR (2007-11)

Soaring processor power
The Index value of the applications processors in mobile devices, a metric that includes clock speed, price and chip complexity, will more than triple from 2012 to 2015. (Baseline year: 2011)

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).

Cycles of processor-driven innovation

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.

Mobile innovations forecast articles

Published Title Article
07/09/2014 Phase II wrap up: Context as a driving force for mobile innovation View PDF
5/28/2014 The elements of contextual intelligence View PDF
2/19/2014 Virtual context: Connecting two worlds View PDF
1/8/2014 Sensing and making sense: Device and environment underpin contextually aware services View PDF
08/29/2013 The magic of advanced technology: Predicting real-time behaviour & needs via contextual intelligence View PDF
06/17/2013 Phase 1 Wrap up: New data bolsters the general direction of innovation over the next five years View PDF
05/09/2013 Mobile operating system: Smartphones will just get smarter View PDF
03/05/2013 Enabling devices to offer users more natural interaction View PDF
1/17/2013 Image sensor: Steady growth for new capabilities View PDF
12/13/2012 Storage: Quenching the thirst for more View PDF
11/09/2012 Memory: The ever-predictable DRAM path View PDF
10/02/2012 Application processors: Driving the next wave of innovation View PDF
09/12/2012 Infrastructure speed: Watch capital investment in 4G for the next inflection View PDF
07/25/2012 Device connectivity speed: One half of an equation View PDF
07/25/2012 Making sense of the rapid change in mobile innovation View PDF
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