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Friday, October 26, 2012
Qualcomm Leads The Mobile SoC Market in First Half Of 2012

Qualcomm shipped the most GPUs in mobile devices (tablets and smart phones) during the first half of 2012, followed by Samsung and Apple, according to a report.

Shipments of GPUs in mobile devices during the first half of 2012 had a growth year to year (1h'11 to 1h'12) of 69.4%, research and consulting firm Jon Peddie Research (JPR) estimates.

Samsung's sales surged in the first half giving them the highest CAGR for the year (179%), followed by Qualcomm (39%), which was already enjoying high shipment rates. MediaTek had a phenomenal 966% growth year to year (starting from a very low base).

In terms of market share change, Apple held pretty even. Samsung and Others grew as shown in Table 1.

Other suppliers in the market include Broadcom, Freescale, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Rockchip, ST-Ericsson, and WonderMedia.

Modern mobile SoC GPUs are now running OpenGL ES 3.0, which was publicly released in August 2012. In addition to being backward compatible, it enables functions at least as powerful as PC GPUs and applications. They have programmable shaders and can deliver amazing game play, UI and browser acceleration, and accelerate the new potentially killer app, augmented-reality (AR). Unlike their PC counterparts, many of the GPUs in mobile devices have image processing functions and can handle camera inputs directly. They also include video processing and drive 1080p HDTVs or monitors via HDMI.

In addition to the semiconductor suppliers there are four GPU IP suppliers: ARM, DMP, Imagination Technologies, and Vivante. Those companies provide IP to all of the SoC builders except Nvidia and Qualcomm.

2012 is also shaping up to be the year of the tablet as Chinese SoC builders like Rockchip and MediaTek deliver millions of devices for Chinese tablets that are being consumed by Chinese Consumers. The price wars have started as these tablets have dropped below $100.

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