Can One Deduce From Chipset Specs How Future Devices will Look Like?

…I was asked today. A clear opinion here: Yes and no.

Yes: When I reviewed some of the future chipsets for my recent book it was clear we are moving to processor speeds beyond 600 Mhz, built in camera hardware units of those chipsets supported resolutions of 10-12 megapixels and a touch panel interface was also part of the unit.

No: Such specs tell you nothing about the form factor of a future device. Examples: Just knowing that there is a touch interface tells you nothing of how usable the interface will be. A chip spec doesn't tell you the physical characteristics of the device, e.g. like will it have a hardware QWERTZ keypad, etc. Also, there are usually supporting chips around the chipset like GPS, motion sensors, compass, etc. How they are mixed and matched is not on the datasheet either.

One interesting domain I haven't yet too much looked into is the specs for the radio front end chips. This info would be very interesting to get an insight which technologies (GSM, UMTS, LTE, CDMA) can be supported in future devices, and, equally important, which frequency bands can be handled with a single front end chip. If you have some good references here, please consider leaving a comment.