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Multi-core processors a 'detriment' to many Android devices, claims Intel

Mike Bell pokes rivals

Multi-core processors a 'detriment' to many Android devices, claims Intel
Intel has claimed multi-core processors are currently wasted on many Android devices, stating the platform is not yet optimised to tap into their power.

According to The Inquirer, mobile and communications group GM Mike Bell has said Intel's own look into multi-core processors employed within Android hardware has shown they simply don't deliver the benefit consumers expect.

Core problems

"If you take a look a lot of handsets on the market, when you turn on the second core or having the second core there [on die], the [current] leakage is high enough and their power threshold is low enough because of the size of the case that it isn't entirely clear you get much of a benefit to turning the second core on," said Bell.

"We ran our own numbers and [in] some of the use cases we've seen, having a second core is actually a detriment, because of the way some of the people have not implemented their thread scheduling."

Bell said it's not at all obvious that any current multiple core implementations in the market deliver the kind of advantage the size of the cost taken to employ them demands.

"The way it's implemented right now, Android does not make as effective use of multiple cores as it could, and I think - frankly - some of this work could be done by the vendors who create the SoCs, but they just haven't bothered to do it," he concluded.

Medfield motivation

Bell's comments, of course, aren't without an agenda.

While ARM chip rivals such as Nvidia and Qualcomm have already employed quad-core processors, Intel's Medfield Atom processor – it's attempt to make a mark on the mobile scene – is single-core.

The firm smartphone to employ Intel's Medfield was unveiled back at CES 2012 in January, with Lenovo aiming its Android-powered K800 at the Chinese market.

Other devices from ZTE and Orange also employ the processor, though Intel appears to be tailoring Medfield for the lower-end of the market, rather than the high-end many of its rivals are currently specialising in.

[source: The Inquirer]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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