OpenCL may open the door for GPU to power the iPhone mobile phone

Apple are considering fundamental shifts in how its iPhone is powered, which may result in greater power being made available for its core processes.


The idea is based on the graphics processor unit (GPU). Once a simple beast that was used to merely move pixels around a screen, these GPUs have become so sophisticated that many experts are now adovcating them to power an entire computer - dumping the traditional CPU. This is because a typical modern GPU features hundreds of tiny CPUs instead of the traditional CPUs which might squeeze 4 CPUs into its chassis.


Controlling a GPU can be tough, however. According to the Guardian, until recently, there was no standard language that every manufacturer could support. This would let the market grow faster. That is why just about every manufacturer of GPUs has now thrown its weight behind a proposal by Apple to base a standard on its concept, OpenCL. Apple are looking to feature OpenCL into their Mac OS X revision, known as Snow Leopard.


Featuring a GPU into a phone could enable it to, for example, point the phone's camera at a building and then process the image so that it can tell you which building it is.


Tony King-Smith, vice-president of marketing at GPU designer Imagination Technologies, predicts, "Then I think this is going to start shifting to where people explore more of the out-there things you can do with mobile platforms. But it is still early days."


Click to read the Guardian story

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