APU is a very large-scale integrated circuit that expands audio and video functions and special interfaces on the basis of low-power central processing units. It plays a role in computing and calling other functional components in smart devices, and integrates central processing.
The APU industry developed with smart phones. The application processor is presented in a miniature version, which perfectly meets the requirements of portable consumer electronics for electronic components. Therefore, the application processor was first popularized in the field of portable consumer electronics. Nowadays, with the continuous advancement of science and technology, the concept of the Internet of Things is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and the application processor has extended its application scope to the field of intelligent Internet of Things by virtue of its unique functional advantages. At this stage, smart mobility and smart IoT are the two main applications of application processors. As intelligent IoT has higher requirements for image processors, the image technology of application processor chips has also developed rapidly.
Wide Coverage of Intelligent IOT
The Internet of Things digitizes the real world, brings scattered data closer, and integrates the digital information of objects and objects. The application range is very wide. In the current domestic Internet of Things market demand structure, smart industry accounts for the largest proportion at 20%, followed by smart logistics at 10.8%. The rapid increase in the amount of information has prompted the diversified development of product functions, thereby increasing power consumption.
The global Internet of Things industry is accelerating its layout and the industry is developing rapidly, but it is undeniable that the domestic Internet of Things is still in its infancy and still requires a lot of manpower and material resources to build this powerful and cumbersome ecological network.
Smart Devices Are Heavy, APU Welcomes Development Opportunities
Due to the gradual stability of global PC shipments, the growth of the supporting component market in various aspects has gradually slowed down, and the CPU market has stabilized. However, due to changes in lifestyle and consumption concepts, people's demand for relatively portable smartphones and tablets has surged, which in turn drives the market growth of APU. Data show that in 2019, the global mobile APU shipments were nearly 1.8 billion, and the corresponding market size is estimated to be 340 US dollars. In 2020, affected by global health incidents, global smart-end APU shipments will slightly decrease. It is estimated that the global mobile terminal APU shipment will reach 2.04 billion in 2023.
The emergence of new-generation technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence has a clear role in promoting the Internet of Things market. IoT devices provide important support for the growth of the APU market. Data shows that the global IoT device shipments in 2019 are about 8.3 billion units. It is expected that the global market size of the IoT will nearly triple, and the global scale of the IoT will reach approximately US$1.7 trillion in 2020. As the main processor chip in the field of Internet of Things, APU will enjoy development dividends and has a broad market prospect.
The growth in demand for application processors has benefited from the rapid spread of 5G and the Internet of Things industry. With the development of technology, it is mainly divided into mobile handheld devices, real-time embedded field and deep embedded field. Mobile handheld devices are mainly divided into smart phones and handheld devices. Due to technological progress, the mobile field has gradually developed into an independent market, whose scale can be equivalent to or even surpass the PC field, and it is mainly dominated by ARM Cortex-A series processors.
ARM has a steady grasp of market resources, because the processors in the mobile phone and tablet computer fields need to load the Linux operating system and a complex software ecosystem, and have the same software ecosystem dependencies as the PC field, making it difficult to enter other processor architectures.
ARM Is the Absolute Hegemon in the Field of Smart Mobile
ARM has the absolute right to speak in the field of smart mobile and has built a relatively complete software ecological environment. Due to the small and sophisticated characteristics of smart mobile electronic devices, this field has higher requirements on the performance and power consumption of APUs, and achieves lower energy consumption while achieving happy performance. Compared with x86, RISC's ARM has a higher energy efficiency ratio, and the authorized IP can effectively meet the various functional requirements of mobile phone manufacturers. Besides, ARM is the only APU architecture on the market that can fully support Android and iOS systems. It has absolute advantages in flexibility, energy efficiency, low cost, and ecology.
Thanks to excellent product performance and a complete product ecosystem, the leading position of the ARM architecture in the industry is difficult to shake. So far, more than 85% of the world’s smart mobile devices use the ARM architecture. Among them, ARM-based smart phones have occupied an absolute high share. As ARM has teamed up with many international manufacturers such as Google and Microsoft to establish a broader, a stronger ecosystem has been built.
In the field of IoT devices, the ARM architecture is also second to none. ARM architecture chips are committed to the best energy efficiency, laying an important foundation for industrial development. Today, the Cortex-M processor series has been widely used in the IoT market and can fully support the IoT field. Downstream APU products are better connected to the ARM architecture, and are even classified according to the types of ARM cores.
With the development of edge computing and the transition from the Internet of Everything to the Smart Connection of Everything, the performance requirements of IoT devices are also increasing. Major domestic manufacturers, such as ALLWINNER Technology and ROCKCHIP, have adopted ARM-based APUs. ROCKCHIP is a leader in the domestic SoC chip field, whose application processor products cover two main areas, namely consumer electronics and intelligent Internet of Things. Its product range has a wide range of products and is booming in compliance with the trend. With industry-leading R&D and technological advantages, ROCKCHIP continues to explore new application areas and establishes its high-quality customer resource network including Samsung, Huawei and Haier. Its future development is worth looking forward to.
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