Huawei has been working on something rather interesting over the past few months called GPU Turbo update.
It’s an OTA update that the Chinese company is sending to some of its more recent devices that helps them to get the most out of the graphics performance they currently offer.
The service is aimed at gaming for now, but Huawei says it could be used for all manner of enhancements on its devices already available in the market, which certainly piques our interest.
We recently joined Huawei Consumer Business Group CTO, Akhram Mohamed, at the company’s Johannesburg offices to find out more about GPU Turbo, along with some of the plans they have for it moving forward.
Right now GPU Turbo is available to Huawei P20 and P20 Pro owners, but few people actually know it’s on their device. The update rolled out OTA recently in the form of a normal software update, but eagle-eyed users may have seen the mention of GPU Turbo on their notification for said update, says Mohamed.
The update is designed to improve the graphics performance on devices as it pertains to gaming, but Huawei says it could have overarching benefits too.
More specifically, Mohamed explains that Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D User Interfaces and Motion Rendering could all potentially be improved by GPU Turbo update in future iterations.
Furthermore, this most recent batch of updates are first of many that Huawei could roll out to devices.
This could mean that the Huawei P20 Pro could receive another GPU Turbo update next year, and more in the following years.
The criteria for it doing so are based on the processor it’s sporting, the Kirin 970, as well as the specifications of the device itself, such as battery capacity, screen resolution and so on.
As such, while Mohamed says that other flagship and mid-range devices will be receiving the GPU Turbo update in coming months, much will depend on the specification of the device as to whether it will be listed for update by Huawei.
The reason for this, according to Mohamed, is concerns that improving the graphics performance could have a negative impact on other aspects of the device. If you up the graphics performance for example, the battery life might decrease as the GPU is operating at a higher capacity.
This could also increase the amount of heat the smartphone radiates, which means Huawei is taking a more decisive approach regarding the number of device models it’s rolling out the update to.
Speaking of which, the aforementioned P20 and P20 Pro already have access to the update locally, with more devices set to receive it in coming months.
The Mate 10 Pro, P20 Lite and P Smart are scheduled for next month, followed by the Mate 9, P10 and P10 Plus in November.
There is scope for other devices, but Huawei must first assess whether improving the GPU performance will have negative effects elsewhere, warns Mohamed.
As for how it has improved the P20 Pro, Huawei’s current flagship phone, the company says that GPU Turbo delivered a 60 percent increase in graphics performance, 30 percent better power efficiency and a solid 60fps gameplay.
For mobile gamers, Huawei is touting a vastly enhanced experience on a handful of recommended titles like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends, adding that performance on any game will improve, but will depend on the title.
PUBG and Mobile Legends are recommended as Huawei has worked closely with the developers on optimising the experience on GPU Turbo on their games specifically. The Chinese company adds that more recommended titles are in the pipeline, with Fortnite believed to be a possibility as well.
More to come
While the graphics improvements are indeed good news for mobile gamers, Huawei is also talking up the potential for GPU Turbo to increase the performance of its smartphones in other ways, such as video-specific applications and AI image processing.
As such, there is quite a bit more expected from Huawei and its GPU Turbo initiative in the coming months and years.
Some of these plans may come to fruition over the next few weeks, with Huawei planning to unveil its new Kirin 980 chipset at IFA 2018 tomorrow and debut a new flagship device later in the year.