The iPhone packs a rather notable punch when it comes to CPU horsepower for a mobile computing device of its size and class. The 620MHz Xscale-based ARM core in its chipset is no slouch--in fact it's one of if not the most powerful extremely-low-wattage mobile processor out there. But, that's not to say that the iPhone is up to any and every computer gaming challenge.
Here, we look to the work of an Intel research group in Israel that is striving to develop technologies to allow mobile devices of modest power to run graphically tasking applications such as heavyweight MMORGPs like World of Warcraft and Second Life.
Second Life and World of Warcraft are among the most prominent MMOGs. They demand lots of computing power – both from the CPU and Graphics. These demands overload any mobile device of today or near future, even including MIDs. By the time the mobile clients have caught up, the performance requirements for MMOGs will grow higher yet.
The 3D Streaming technology developed by Comverse and Intel computes and renders the MMOG content on a powerful backend server, then smartly compresses and streams the graphics onto a client. A network gateway designed by Comverse allows streaming over both WiMAX and 3G cellular networks. With advanced software optimizations including SSE usage, a single Xeon 5400 backend system can serve simultaneously up to 14 clients.
A demonstration video featuring Alexander Sterkin, Sr. SW Application Engineer in Intel’s Software & Solutions Group--but not featuring the iPhone or iPod touch, explains the project further.
This is an interesting technology to follow that may enable the iPhone or iPod touch to act as clients to games and applications more demanding than the platform would normally allow.