ARM's Mali is expected to become the mainstream GPU architecture for China-based application processors (APs) in the second half of 2014 in terms of market share, surpassing Imagination significantly. However, in the high-end segment, Mali's share will be slightly weaker than that of Qualcomm's GPU architecture due to Qualcomm's advantages in chip design, but will still perform better than Imagination's solution.
Among the solutions, Nvidia's GPU architecture has the best performance and its latest GPU core is able to deliver strong performance with low power consumption. Although Nvidia only has limited clients, its shipment growth in 2014 is expected to be better than in previous years, according to figures from Digitimes Research.
Vivante has been losing clients and only has two clients in the second half of 2014. The company's market share is also expected to decline in 2014.
High definition (HD) mobile has become the main marketing point for mobile devices and even products in different price segments are all heading toward the same development direction: When increasing resolution on mobile devices, in addition to optimizing multimedia applications, developers also need to satisfy demand for 3D gaming applications, which have been appearing rapidly.
After experiencing fierce price competition, China's mobile device market started looking for ways to recover and strengthening multimedia applications and releasing high-end HD products have become a new strategy.
The GPU is a key component for handling multimedia applications and each GPU solution has its own unique advantages in the balance between technology and costs. GPU solution providers' marketing is also greatly influencing their market shares. Currently, ARM is mainly expanding its market base using its pricing advantages. After gaining the upper hand in the ecosystem, the company is expected to gradually enter into the high-end territory to further stabilize its market position to help edge out its competitors.