This week's Lowdown: 5G to upgrade mobile gaming

See what 5G can do to the gaming industry...
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This week's Lowdown: 5G to upgrade mobile gaming

What could 5G mean for mobile gaming?

5G is almost here, and once it fully rolls out we’re expecting it to completely revolutionise the way we communicate over mobile internet.

Gaming is no exception to this. Much faster download speeds and zero latency will make gaming – especially on mobile – seamless and very, very fast. But is the infrastructure there to support it?

One cloud-based gaming app that’s already out and ready for 5G is Hatch. It’s almost like Netflix for games, with a home page full of different games that you can play right there, with no downloads needed.

You can jump between games whenever you want to, so if you’re getting frustrated with terrible shots on Angry Birds, you can pick something else to play. It’s a great way to get a taster of a bunch of different games as well, if you’re one of those people who finds their Steam library full of yet-to-play titles.

With the extra speed and power of 5G, cloud-based gaming is the ideal next step because it gets rid of the need for space-hungry downloads, and you can play whatever you want, whenever you want. Google are working on something similar, with Stadia being announced earlier this year, so we’re excited to see just what 5G can do for mobile gaming.

These stunning new headphones are made of fungus

avian korvaa fungus headphones

Credit: Avian

No, we’re not joking, and there’s no catch. Korvaa is the first company in the world to create a set of headphones grown from microbes. That’s right, yeast fungus and bacteria to be precise. We know, it sounds gross, but you’d never know from looking at them!

It’s hard to believe there’s not a bit of metal or plastic in these headphones, but it’s true. The headband is a stunning glowing white, while the earcups are a chestnut coloured leather-type material. They really are quite something!

The conceptual prototype was produced after a collaboration between the VTT technical research centre in Finland, Aalto University and the Finnish design company Aivan. It’s a truly unique innovation at the moment, but one that could have a huge impact on the way we design and use different materials.

Some of the components used took days to grow, and some even had to be freeze-dried to remove lingering moisture to turn them into usable materials.

These headphones took six months to produce, with plenty of lessons learned along the way, but just proving it can be done is an amazing step and could see us using a lot less plastic in the future.

Check out our range of headphones here

More power and more efficiency for phones in 2020

ARM is a company that makes blueprints and designs instruction sets for all the chips that let us enjoy our mobile phones today. ARM has now revealed its latest set of premium mobile designs, and we can look forward to seeing the new components in phones in 2020.

The two main components are the Cortex-A77 CPU core and the Mali-G77 graphics part. The A77 is immediately impressive, offering a 20% improvement on IPC (instructions per clock) performance. This means it should be able to complete complex tasks faster, so things that used to slow your phone down should become a thing of the past.

With more power comes more design flexibility too. At the moment, most chip designs from places like Qualcomm, Apple and Samsung use two or four main cores, with a few more power-efficient ones for basic tasks. So, with the A77 core being more powerful, it leaves more room for other components like Artificial intelligence and photo processing hardware.

The Mali-G77 GPU on the other hand, has some new architecture called Valhall, which is claimed to have a 40% performance improvement. It also does better in the energy usage department, with microarchitecture enhancements amounting to a 30% increase. This means chips designers can pack more power into a smaller space, so we could see some changes to the way phones are being designed in the next year or so.

See our range of mobile phones

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