Imagination identifies six key trends at MWC 2015

10 March 2015

Imagination Technologies identifies six trends driving industry momentum and related technologies at the recent Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC).

The focus is on security, IoT interoperability, wearables, computer vision, communications infrastructure, and ultra-low power connectivity. These trends confirm Imagination’s vision for the future of mobile, and the technology roadmaps it is aggressively pursuing across its entire IP portfolio in anticipation of the needs of its customers and partners. 

Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing at Imagination said, over the past decade, they have seen enormous changes and disruptions in the mobile landscape in everything from communications standards to smartphone functionality. However, this year’s MWC signalled the start of a new era that goes far beyond phones and infrastructure, as everything from IoT sensors and actuators to wearables to highly connected and increasingly automated cars become an integral part of MWC. What is clear is that security and interoperability together with software and system portability lie at the heart of bringing these latest visions of a connected world to life.

Top six trends at MWC 2015 according to Imagination:

1. Highly integrated, ultra-low power communications are proliferating widely. At MWC, it was clear that the ‘mobile’ device category now includes a huge number of products beyond mobile phones and tablets – from wearables to automotive to the huge range of new and emerging IoT devices. Low-power Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, Cat 1 and Cat 0 LTE and other short range wireless technologies are key to enabling these devices that are finding their way into every industry, every product category and everyday life.

2. Network infrastructure is expanding and virtualising. To accommodate the ever increasing number of connected devices and expanding cloud infrastructure, 4G buildout continues around the globe. At MWC, 5G was a hot topic, despite the fact that it is yet to be defined. Companies are already looking to the advantages it will provide in the 2020 timeframe. The next generation of infrastructure will require advances in communications and also in embedded processing to support software defined networks (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV). 

3. Security is critical: In an increasingly connected world, any system is only as secure as its weakest link. Embedded security has become a critical issue for the next generation of connected devices. At MWC 2015, numerous companies announced initiatives and technologies around security, including secure payments, secure mobile operating systems, virtualised solutions for BYOD, encryption and key management technology, security enhanced phones and smartwatches, and even privacy glasses designed to protect against facial recognition technology. 

4. IoT interoperability is key: In the next generation, the number of connected IoT devices will not only continue to grow and be provided by an ever expanding number of vendors, but will also perform a wide array of functions. As such, high-volume success and consumer satisfaction will be dependent on a level of interoperability not previously seen in the industry.

5. Wearables are entering the mainstream: MWC 2015 made it clear that wearables are now an integral part of any OEM product lineup. Numerous smart bracelets, smartwatches, and specialised products such as fitness bands were introduced by new and emerging companies during the show. The next wave of wearables will be defined as electronics meets fashion.

6. Computer vision and VR/AR applications represent massive opportunities. Vision-aware technologies are increasingly incorporated in smartphones, IoT devices, automotive, robotics, and other products. MWC 2015 also confirmed the re-emergence of virtual reality (VR) and a growing interest in augmented reality (AR). To create devices that support computer vision, computational photography and new user and social experiences, companies need processing solutions that go beyond CPU/DSP cores to deliver sustained video-rate processing of HD content.

King-Smith continues by commenting that Imagination’s technology roadmaps anticipate and increasingly drive these trends, as they focus on providing not only the cutting-edge PowerVR GPUs and MIPS CPUs, but also the communications engines, video and vision processing engines, and heterogeneous processing platforms that are all secure, and deliver interoperability through open standards. 

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