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The Future of Smartphone Hardware

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by nobdoor, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. nobdoor

    nobdoor Newbie
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    Hello everyone. This is my first post, and I look forward to an enlightening experience on these forums, talking with the knowledgeable people who are here.

    I am here right now for one specific reason: to see what people think the future beholds for smart phones in terms of hardware.

    I've been using stupidphones for over a decade, and I feel that now is the ideal time to purchase a smart phone. The first generation of phones are past their prime, and I think that the level of refinement in these devices is approaching an ideal peak, in terms of technological obsolescence.

    What I mean by that is, I think we are at a point where the turnover in phone technology is slowing down. Moore's law is not linear, and I am suspecting that the new 'must have' phones will be coming out at a less frequent pace.

    But I'm not sure about this, so I want to see what the community thinks.

    What could be the next hardware breakthrough that would make today's top-of-the-line smartphone obsolete?

    I want to wait for the HTC Evo to buy my first smartphone. I can't imagine a new hardware standard that would blow this thing away, even over the course of years.
     

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  2. grainysand

    grainysand Android Expert
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    Easy. Dual-core 1.5GHz processors. Those will be coming out by the end of 2010, and should be available in commercial phones by the middle of 2011 or so.
     
  3. nobdoor

    nobdoor Newbie
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    Interesting. I wonder if they will be ARM based dual core processors, or intel. I would expect this to cut battery life significantly.

    This brings another question to my mind: do we really need dual core processors on smartphones? Multitasking will be hard due to small screen size. What kind of every-day applications would require that kind of processing power?

    The only thing I can think of are games.
     
  4. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Android Enthusiast
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    With a dual core cpu you can cut the clock rate in half, and it will deliver better performance than the single core equivalent. Unlikely this will actually happen, but it would be a viable option for underclocking if you needed to save battery power.

    As for other hardware, expect more RAM, probably up to a gigabyte or two within a reasonable time frame.

    There will be a limit for hardware speeds, since we're trying to pack more and more into slimmer cases. Unless a brilliant new innovation for heat removal is found, even phones in 20 years time won't be pushing much more beyond that.
    Couple that with the internet advancing and keeping up with the hardware of computers, eventually your top spec HTC Evo will be loading pages slower than a Windows 2000 system now.
     
  5. grainysand

    grainysand Android Expert
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    I've no idea either, to be honest. Graphic-intensive 3D UI, like what was demoed on a Nexus the other day by some Japanese (Korean?) company? But otherwise, I do agree that we don't need that kind of processors, which is why I imagine my N1 will still stay pretty decent by this year's end/middle of the next year.

    I'm less worried about battery life and more worried about heat, personally. Even now Snapdragon phones can run pretty warm.
     
  6. 21gigs

    21gigs Member
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    a dedicated graphics processer aka graphics card would ease the burden on cpu's.
     
  7. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert
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    plenty of phones already have those
     
  8. Gibeon

    Gibeon Lurker
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    Maybe we need rpu's(Ray Processing Units) lol. Thats way overboard and theres no need for it in a phone. Anyways, remember the time where Bill Gates said like 8MB was all everybody needed and no more. Isnt it funny.
     
  9. nobdoor

    nobdoor Newbie
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    Well, one way that I like to look at it is through the technology of cameras.

    Digital cameras have been around for over a decade, yet we're not seeing the fastest available CPU's integrated into the new ones (at least to my knowledge). Since the function of a camera is limited to taking pictures or movies, there exists a point faster processors diminish in value.

    I believe that smartphones are the same, even though they serve many more functions than a camera. Smartphones may be approaching a practical limitation in power.

    What would be useful if we could fit a 3GHz quad core processor in a phone? I think a desktop computer with a large monitor and specialized input devices is necessary to utilize something like that.

    But maybe I'm wrong. It's hard to say.
     
  10. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Android Expert
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    Actually nokia n900 already has 1 gig of ram.

    Sure its like 700 mb virtual.. but, it is still a smexy phone.

    *drools*
     
  11. mrqs

    mrqs Android Expert
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    what i wanna know is what's happened to the software - my first pc was a 200 mhz pentium 2, which ran half-life just fine

    now i have a phone with a processor of nearly 3 times the clockspeed and it has trouble scrolling a simple menu in the os smoothly

    yeah, i know, they wanted to do an interpreted os in order to make dev'ing for it easier, but i can't help but think they could have done a hell of a lot better job
     

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