ARM's New GPU, CPU Designed for Virtual Reality, Mobile Gaming

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-06-01 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: ARM takes aim at VR, AR, mobile gaming with new GPU, CPU; Asus debuts 3 ZenFone models, Zenbo robot, new 2-in-1s and more; Microsoft establishes venture fund for early-stage startups; and there's more.

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Today's topics include ARM’s plans to enter the virtual reality, augmented reality and mobile gaming sectors, Asus’ hardware introductions at the Computex 2016 trade show, Microsoft’s plans to invest in early-stage startups and CommScope’s survey finds that millennials are willing to pay more for high-speed Internet.

Over the past decade ARM has become the mobile industry's producer of low-power chip designs that run most of the world's smartphones. Officials with the company see the smartphone's future as more than just a communications and Internet access tool.

The device will become the portal that provides access to emerging technologies—such as virtual and augmented reality, mobile gaming, machine learning and computer vision.

So ARM executives want to ensure their system-on-a-chip designs will power these more advanced smartphones. The new products come at a time when smartphone sales continue to slow, due in large part to a saturation of developed markets. 

With its latest top-of-the-line ZenFone 3 smartphones, Asus is releasing three distinct models, each aimed at giving consumers just the right mix of features that they are seeking.

The flagship ZenFone 3 Deluxe includes an advanced camera, while the ZenFone 3 offers premium design, features and performance. Completing the ZenFone 3 family is the ZenFone 3 Ultra, which is built around a large, 6.78-inch Full HD display for users who want to watch videos on the go.

In a grab bag of announcements at the Computex 2016 trade show in Taiwan on May 30, Asus also debuted its new Zenbo home robot, as well as three new Transformer 2-in-1 convertibles and a new ZenBook 3 laptop.

Microsoft is on the lookout for early-stage startups whose technologies complement its own cloud-first ambitions.

The Redmond, Wash., technology giant on May 30 announced the formation of Microsoft Ventures, a venture fund that will enable the company to finally address a gap in its corporate investment strategy.

"In Microsoft's history of engaging with and supporting startups, we've done a lot of investing, but not a lot of early stage. Because we would often invest alongside commercial deals, we were not a part of the early industry conversations on disruptive technology trends," admitted Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice president of Microsoft Ventures, in a May 30 announcement.

The new group will provide Microsoft with "a seat at the table" at some of those early investment deals, he said.

Millennials are willing to pay for higher levels of Web service, and half of Millennials polled would pay 5 percent of their annual salary for super-fast Internet, according to a CommScope survey of 4,000 Millennials and Baby Boomers in San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong.

The survey revealed more than 85 percent of Millennials have a smartphone and more than those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that they expect to be able to stream video wherever they are.

Elise Vadnais, business development analyst at CommScope, said this shows great opportunity for Internet service providers as they look to understand their Millennial customers’ evolving needs.


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