Intel: Android Not Optimized for Multi-Core Chips

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avenger48

Here's a radical thought. Intel has one of the largest monetary warchests of any tech company just sitting around. Why not buy ARM Holdings? Or a company that makes ARM based products, like Ti, Qualcomm, or even nVidia?

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Caboose

"Why not buy ARM Holdings? Or a company that makes ARM based products, like Ti, Qualcomm, or even nVidia?"

Well, Intel already tried the nVidia route, and it got rejected/denied. Don't forget, the shareholders need to be on board, and then it needs to be approved at a higher level. You can have all the money in the world, and still not be allowed or able to buy the company that you want. It's not as simple as you think.

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kixofmyg0t

This article WAS true.....2 years ago. Gingerbread handles multiple cores better than any version before it and ICS just happens to be optimized for multicore chips.

I however think the best way to move forward isn't in symmetrical cores. A dual core A15 chip with an A5 to handle background processes is a great start. I'm excited for TI's OMAP 5. Theirs a video on YouTube demonstrating a 800mhz dual core OMAP 5 laying waste to a (1.3Ghz if I remember) quad core A9 like Tegra3.

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bloodgain

That's funny. My DROID RAZR MAXX doesn't get very warm, even when I'm playing games. It runs quite fast. It runs for days on a single charge. Sure, it has an extra-large battery, but it's still thinner than a lot of other phones out there. If you have good hardware designers, the power and thermal footprints for multi-core mobile devices are just fine. The big, bright screens and wireless are still the power hogs, not the SoC.

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ApathyCurve

Damned grapes were probably sour anyway... *grumble*

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Peanut Fox

Intel guys are smart. They are. Hands down. But he has to know how this statement makes him sound. Especially as he is down playing a competitors advantage.

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Ntldr

Almost makes it sound like they are worried that they won't be able to break into the mobile market. Time will tell I guess, would be nice though if they did make better strides to make multi-core more functional in Phones and Tablets, Heck even in PC's. Hardware is there but until software coders start making applications work with Multi core Procs it isn't going to do much good.

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bloodgain

We're trying, believe me.

There is actually a lot of multi-threaded code out there, but mostly for independent processing threads on event-driven asynchronous application systems (read: big, multi-part, message-passing applications that run across several servers).

Writing a desktop/mobile application (like the kind you think about when you say application) to run on multiple cores, brings some difficult problems and risks. Currently, there's just not enough benefit to justify the effort and risk except in certain types of applications. If you're doing a lot of processor-heavy encoding/decoding/transcoding, you can get nearly linear speedup (to a point). In your more common applications, including most games, there's just not enough speedup to make the extra work worth it. Plus, the added complexity usually results in added bugs.

Many applications these days do utilize 2 or more cores. Game physics or AI work can be offloaded to independent threads to use more of these big, powerful desktop computers. Gaming graphics are highly parallel -- and have been for a long time -- but that's heavy SIMD processing that takes place almost exclusively on the graphics card.

It mostly comes down to tools. Graphics, for example, is a stream processing application, which is very easy to parallelize. That means good programming tools and APIs exist, so that it can be done with very little risk or effort. Multi-core CPUs are still in their infancy (or toddler years), and the tools are getting better. Better tools reduce effort and risk, which means multi-core support will keep getting better. Eventually, it will be nearly automatic. It's already a lot easier, less complex, and less risky than it was a few years ago.

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Happy

Fascinating stuff. Thank you so much for this informative reply. You have given me good information that I didn't know before so thank you again :)

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