Will Apple Consider ARM's New Mali GPU in 2013?
To date, Apple has been using Imagination Technologies GPU for iDevices, but that could all change in 2013 if ARM's new Mali GPU delivers on its promises of delivering greater power and a revolutionary new data compression technology called ASTC (Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression). Steve Steele, product manager of ARM's media processing division stated that "From the consumer's point of view it's going to mean better battery life and higher image quality." He went on to state that you'll "be able to download games faster, and it's also been designed to be more efficient at uncompressing data once it's on your device." Yet as tempting as it may be for Apple to make the switch, one has to remember that Apple is still a shareholder in Imagination Technologies that currently develops the PowerVR GPU that's powering today's iPad. Logic says that Apple will pass on this next generation GPU from ARM, but technology in the fast lane could sometimes throw in a surprise of two along the way – and so it's not a sure thing until it is. Only time will tell.
Mobile chips have numerous advantages: they're far cheaper to produce, they produce far less heat, and the whole low power PC platform is still about 2-3x the average power usage of a ARM-based platform.