IMPROVING SMART DEVICES BY CREATING MOBILE PROCESSORS FOR A FASTER TOMORROW

Mark Szymanski (mjs236@pitt.edu)

INTRODUCTION

        The central processing units, CPUs, found in the numerous amount of different mobile devices on the market nowadays are able to accomplish incredible tasks in very small amounts of time. Endless research and more advanced components throughout the history of mobile processors have made for quicker performance speeds and more efficiency in general. The evolutionary road leading up to this point has been terrific, but looking forward to the future, great things are on the horizon. Many consumers mainly want one thing above all else when it comes to their mobile smart devices: speed. They want to be able to perform routine tasks as quickly as possible because we are a society that does not like to wait for anything. The result of these consumer demands need to be innovative and should change the way people think about mobile processing power.
        Computer engineers are working tirelessly to design and create the next great processor to solder into the new devices making their way into production. Many of them say that the industry to create the next best thing would be at its greatest potential if the product is designed to maximize innovation, but it’s not at that point yet. More could be done to overcome problems the engineers are facing. I am interested in the field of computer engineering, so this topic concerns me. I feel that if we can reach that level of quality design and production, we’ll see how fast we can make these mobile devices.

CONTROL UNIT

        The control unit of the CPU is where the circuitry is located. It uses electrical signals to direct the computer to carry out stored instructions. One very important thing to note is that the control unit does not execute any instructions it is given. Instead, it tells other parts of the machine to work on specific tasks. It has to communicate in both arithmetic and logic unit and memory [1].
        This component of the processor is a great place to improve in an attempt to gain faster speeds when completing tasks on a mobile device. If the connections between the instruction and the control unit can be made even quicker and more efficiently than they already are, speeds will most certainly increase.

INTEGER RANGE

        The integer range is the way that the CPU represents numbers. Ultimately, this affects how the device functions and reacts to the instructions given to it. The size of the range depends on the size of the processor [2].
        This range can also affect the speed of the processor if it is maximized to achieve the greatest output. Higher levels of the range prove to be more expensive and use more power, but the additional speed and efficiency make it worth it.

CLOCK RATE

        The clock rate of a mobile processor, or any CPU in general, is the speed at which the processor executes the given instructions. Every device has this clock inside it. The clock regulates how long certain and specific actions take to complete and then it synchronizes these with other various components in the device. The faster the clock, the more data the CPU can process and act on in a shorter amount of time [3].
This component could prove to be the key to the fastest speeds we’ve ever seen. If engineers can optimize the capable limit of the clock, then the CPU could process more data in a shorter amount of time, ultimately leading to faster processing of all computing tasks in general. This would just be one way that they could accomplish the goal.

OTHER IMPORTANT FEATURES

        While the previously listed components of a processor are found in all computers, the CPUs that mobile computers like smartphones use have some different concerns that need to be taken into account. For example, mobile processors obviously need to be very small to fit inside certain devices, like martwatches. This CPU chip has to, therefore, be housed in a smaller chip package. Another important difference is that the mobile CPUs have to be engineering to run cooler and not reach temperatures near that of desktop CPUs. This is due to the fact that the there is less surface area on the small, portable devices and they are in people’s hands most of the time, so they need to remain cool. Power is another cause for engineering concern. A generally less capable battery in mobile devices, as opposed to desktop computers, calls for lower voltages to be used for its power supply [4]. Along those same lines, due to the features on most, if not all smart devices today, these mobile processors need to have more “sleep mode” capabilities. This allows the phone to be active and processing data, whatever the task may be, even when the display is off and the device is in “sleep mode.” However, it also allows for the processor to be brought down to a lower level of usage when not being tasked, or even turned off completely. The internal clock can also be utilized the same way. The mobile CPU is much more flexible in general because it has the ability to change the amount to energy it uses based on the current state of the computer. Doing so conserves device power, therefore prolonging battery life and longevity [5].
All of the features mentioned above are vital to the efficient operation of the mobile devices in the world today. Further research on the components listed would most certainly result in faster speeds for performing the tasks that people do every day. Each of the features have their own specific task to manage, and if optimized together they can create the fastest mobile processor yet.

CONCLUSION

        The mobile processors found in portable devices today are most certainly nothing to scoff at. However, there is always room for improvement in any area of technology. This will forever be the case. Looking into the immediate future, it seems as though the era of small, compact smart devices is not coming to an end anytime soon. Therefore, computer engineers need to think up even better ways to make hardware, namely CPUs, which operates at a very high level over a long period of time. The overall goal is progress, and in this case it is trying to make the fastest and most efficient devices possible. Each of the components that make up the processor have an effect on how it operates and what it can achieve. After those components are optimized, they will have the speeds that are desired in an ideal world. These improvements will lead to the fastest mobile CPUs computer engineers can produce.
The topic of quickening the pace at which mobile devices can perform tasks is an obvious one, but nevertheless, an important one. As time goes on, technology improves almost naturally it seems. This is due to the countless hours of research and development by many computer engineers always trying to come up with the next big thing. I am interested in this area because I enjoy technology, especially computers and mobile devices. It’s very intriguing how they can dream up these microprocessors and actually make them a reality. The tasks that the mobile devices of today can perform and speeds at which they can perform them is largely due to the incredibly powerful, yet efficient CPUs within them. They are already capable of great things, but the future improvements will solve even more problems and create the fastest mobile processors possible.

REFERENCES

  1. (2014). Control Unit. (online webpage). http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/c/contunit.htm
  2. (2014). Integer Maths Test. CPU Test Information. (online webpage). http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_test_info.html
  3. V. Beal. (2014). Clock Speed. (online article). http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/clock_speed.html
  4. (2013). Processors: Computer vs mobile. (online article). http://www.techadvisory.org/2013/12/processors-computer-vs-mobile/
  5. J. Sherman. (2013). More Cores Mean Better Battery Life: The Surprising Truth About Mobile Processors. (online article). http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/more- cores-mean-better-battery-life-the-surprising-truth-about-mobile-processors/

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

        I would like to thank Dr. Bursic, my writing instructor and reader, and my friend, Zach.