Vivante GPUs

Wearable health technology devices typical are designed to gather data that is then sent to the cloud or some mobile device that will process the information and present it to the user in some meaningful way. But there are times when you may want the device itself to be able to convey information directly to the wearer. And when it comes to information density, it’s hard to beat a visual display. Thin, light, and durable displays with 400 or more pixels per inch are becoming available, but engineers still face the problem of how to get the information onto tiny screens.

Vivante Corporation is one company working on solutions. In a recent press release, the company announced their GCNano line of graphics processor units (GPUs), shown in the chart above. The line starts with the GCNano light, which boasts an area of just 0.3 square mm. That’s the equivalent of a square only slightly larger than 0.5 mm per side. The average credit card is about 50% thicker than that dimension, so you could put one of these GPUs flat on the edge of a credit card. And the chip sips power at just 0.3 mW. In spite of this tiny size, it is capable of creating images in Wide VGA resolution at 60 frames per second or better. The larger GCNano Ultra can produce high-definition video images while drawing just 0.9 mW, and still only 1 square mm (equivalent to 1 mm on a side).

The three larger chips (if these tiny devices can be called “larger”) are designed to work with embedded Linux, Tizen, Android, and Android Wear operating systems. These chips could make all sorts of new products possible, from near-to-eye head-mounted displays to wearable devices that have their own direct-view display panels.