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Intel claims Android is not ready for multi-core processors

Dan Graziano
June 11th, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Intel, one of the newest chipmakers to enter the Android scene, claimed that rival chip vendors have not done enough to optimise Android for multi-core processors, The Inquirer reported. While the majority of ARM-based vendors are focusing on dual- and quad-core processors, Intel has just entered the Android market with its single-core Medfield Atom processor. The company is doing all it can to defend itself against multi-core heavy weights Samsung, NVIDIA and Qualcomm. Intel’s general manager of mobile and communications Mike Bell recently claimed that Android simply isn’t ready for multi-core processors, despite having supported multi-core chips since Android 2.3.4, and noted that internal testing had shown that multi-core chips sometimes run slower than single-core models. Read on for more.

“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,” Bell claimed. “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 went on to say that he has “taken a look at the multiple core implementations in the market, and frankly, in a thermal and/or power constrained environment – what has been implemented – it isn’t obvious to me you really get the advantage for the size and the cost of what’s going into that part.”

The executive wouldn’t give a date in terms of when Intel is planning to deliver multi-core Atom processors, however he noted that the company investing in “software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it.”

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