Mobile GPU performance comparison

Google can deny it all day long but the fact is that the Android ecosystem is suffering from hardware fragmentation and things aren’t looking like they are going to get better any time soon. One of the main hardware difference between Android devices is he GPU which is part of the SoC (System On a Chip / Chipset) powering the handset. There’s currently three big players in the market today: Qualcomm’s SnapDragon SoC with the Adreno 200 GPU, TI OMAP 3XXX with the Power VR SGX 530/535 and finally Samsung’s Hummingbird (S5PC110A01) with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU all three of them feature a CortexA8 CPU core. Android and Me wrapped up a couple of benchmarks comparing them and the final verdict is clear as bottled water. Samsung’s Hummingbird is heads and shoulder above the competition thanks to the SGX540 GPU, followed by TI’s and Qualcomm’s chipsets. This should come as no surprise, the SGX540 is currently the most powerful mobile GPU on the market but one has to take into account the quality of the drivers. Qualcomm has been far behind in this sector ever since its acquisition of AMD/ATI’s mobile GPU division nearly 2 years ago. Benchmarks conducted on Windows Mobile devices like the HTC HD2 (SnapDragon with Adreno 200/AMD Z430 GPU) have shown up to a %500 increase in performance in some bechnmarks when homemade/tweaked drivers where used instead of the ones supplied with the retail device. This doesn’t mean that it can rival Samsung’s SGX540 equipped handsets like the Galaxy S line of Android phones but SnapDragon based devices would have graphics performances more in line with what you should expect from a hing-end smartphone in 2010. It will be interesting to see how things will be like on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7  platform (Only Qualcomm is certified to provide chipset for the first WP7 handsets) now that Microsoft will provide/certify the drivers. From what I have seen the graphics performance of the prototype devices is tons better than what we have now on the market. It has been said by me many times (and others who have played with the Samsung Taylor): the UI of WP7 ( Direct3D fully hardware accelerate by the Adreno GPU) is more responsive than the iPhone. Things will only get better in the future when devices like the HTC Mondrian WP7 handset will supposedly feature the updated Snapdragon core and when Google finally sets minimum performance and hardware requirement in a future version of Android (rumored to come in Android 3.0).

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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Snow Report applications for Windows Phone 7

What better way to start the day than with two new Windows Phone 7 applications ? French developer Nicolas Humann is working on two applications based on his port of PRISM (Patterns & Practices Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight, available and up to date for the Beta tools  here on codeplex).

The first one is Hawaiian Volcano Observatory app (he is currently in contact with the USGS to make it the official app). Here are the features followed by the video:

• Watch the news update with pictures
• See the eruption map and all webcams with deepzoom
• A deep zoom composer from the website pictures
• List of the earthquakes and maps
• Multi language, the text is automated translated with Microsoft Translator 2 API
• Data are provided from a WCF data services
• All data are cached with absolute and/or sliding expiration
• The background of the panorama change automatically every week, who is downloaded from my website.

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Special Edition Motorola Droid 2 with R2-D2 to be unveiled on August 12th

Nothing confirmed yet but according to Engadget a Star Wars edition of the upcoming Motorola Droid 2 with a white R2-D2 on the back will be unveiled on August 12th exactly 11 days before the official retail launch. People outside of the US may not no this but the word “Droid” is a trademark of LucasFilm and Motorola had to license the name last year (that’s why it’s called the Motorola Milestone outside of North America).

Source: Engadget