Intel says Android not ready for multiple-core processors

Intel says Android not ready for multiple-core processors
There you are with your Android phone sporting a dual-core processor and you're wondering why sometimes the software isn't as snappy as you'd like it to be. According to testing conducted by Intel, not only is Android not ready for multiple-core processors, having more than one core could actually be harming Android performance.

Inet says that it wasn't until April 2011 when Android 2.3.4 became available that the OS was really ready to embrace dual-core processors. Before that, you had Android devices shipping with dual-core power that was not being taken advantage of by the OS. Mike Bell, GM of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group, says that the thread-scheduler on Android is not ready for multiple-core processors and in fact, the multiple-cores are actually a detriment for users. Bell says Intel's testing showed multiple-core processors running at a slower speed than single core. He adds that testing shows that adding a second core leads to current leakage and a low power threshold because of the size of the case. This means that there might not be any advantage to Android users using a multiple-core processor.Bell says that running multiple-cores makes sense in situations where power management isn't an issue and the OS has a good thread scheduler. Android isn't there yet, according to the executive, and when the OS goes to do a single task, "a lot of other stuff stops." As you might imagine, Intel says it is up to those companies producing chips for Android devices to make sure that the OS meshes better with multiple-core processors.

source: TheInquirer via  PocketNow

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140 Comments

1. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

wow guess the speed diffrence between my epic 4g and my epic touch is my imagination :(

2. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

The fact that The Epic Touch has the exynos processor with 1GB of RAM plays a huge part of it. The exynos processor is one of the most powerful processors there is in the smartphone world, dual core or quad core, it doesn't matter. But Touchwiz also is way more optimized than it used to be as well.

4. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

which also is a dual core and the ram helps out for sure but I dont buy that dual cores decrease effincney. If anything performance should be the same if not improved.

90. Sangeet

Posts: 232; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

I think the benchmarks would be the correct explaination to this guy from Intel (Mike Bell)

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

You just aren't trying to get Apple's mobile chip business.

35. cheetah2k

Posts: 2275; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Intel are only complaining because for the first time in history, they're doing it wrong....

77. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

yes, just crying because their bribing is not effective everywhere:https://sites.google com/site/corpsins/

107. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its actually not the first time. They have failed every time they went into the ultra low voltage category. If this time is the same or different remains to be seen. They keep trying to jam big PC technology into small chips, and it doesnt work like that. Some people are slow to learn.

101. AbhiD

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

What intel said is more of regarding optimization of multi core processors... Example- A single core intel mobile processor beats dual core A9 arm processors with huge margin and is almost equivalent(and even greater in some aspects) to dual core A15 arm processors. This is called true optimization!!!

134. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

what about power optimizations,that's why still the processor is not mass produced.the testing is based on 2.3.4 and the fact is that,SIMD are introduced with gingerbread,but the manufacturers aren't patient enough to wait for gingerbread and release their phones...

104. happygaps

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

Bad comparison. Besides different OS version and double the RAM, one is the old A8 at 1ghz (slower than even snapdragon S1) the other is A9 at 1.2ghz. Even with the same amount of cores the A9 cpu would be heaps faster. A better comparison is between the Sensation XE and Sensation XL. Where they use the same architecture. If my mate didn't tell me the XL is single core i wouldn't have guessed. There just isn't any performance difference running it side by side with my XE.

3. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 2011

I can't think of any dual core processor phones that don't have 2.3.4 It sounds like they are just making excuses to why they are so late to the Mobile game.

14. JC557

Posts: 1921; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Atom based processors are also a bit anemic...

18. ph00ny

Posts: 2058; Member since: May 26, 2011

but compared to the ARM counterparts, they match up nicely in performance x86 has never lacked firepower. They just can't compete in power efficiency

135. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

why you are thumbed down for such a valid comment

138. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

because morons dont understand what he's saying. thats why.

31. Greyhunter6

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 06, 2009

He was refering to the dual core phones which came out before the 2.3.4 update was released. Those phones now have 2.3.4 or a later update.

97. bomariam1

Posts: 43; Member since: May 08, 2012

If this is the case then it's an old news. let him check the samsung s3.

102. happygaps

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

The in original inquirer article, Intel makes no mention of the distinction between 2.3.4 and later phones and earlier phones. Gsmarena also did not mention this. I think phonearena will need to show us where they got that info. I think intel in no way implies that only phones older than 2.3.4 aren't able to take advantage of multi cores.

6. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

I would like to see someone challenge this guy on what hes saying

11. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

I believe this is old news. Reports of dual core phones not using all cores have been reported before. And it has also been speculated in some cases it's all been a marketing ploy... tell the masses they have dual cores even for that matter quad cores and they'll jump at it thinking their device is operating at twice or four times the speed. Not realizing their device is not optimized to use all the power it has. But what the consumer doesn't know doesn't hurt em'. But hey, they can always brag about having a top of the line device.

12. JC557

Posts: 1921; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Hell, it's a possibility he's saying that to cover his own ass because Intel isn't ready for multiple core processors that can compete on the mobile front. Then there's the possibility of him trying to get Apple's business...

103. happygaps

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

This just doesn't make sense. If what intel says is true and multi cores aren't beneficial to android then why the hell would they want to release a quad core smart phone Soc? To join the marketing crowd or shoot itself in the foot? Secondly you think with all their resources and engineering prowess intel wasn't able to create a multi-core android soc if they wanted to?

17. vqc61

Posts: 15; Member since: May 16, 2012

I think Whoaboss hit the nail on the head. It's a huge marketing ploy to sell hardware. As an engineer, I completely understand that having more cores doesn't mean anything unless the OS is optimized to work with them. Mike Bell is the GM of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group. He (or Intel) wouldn't make a statement like this without the backup of their multi-billion dollar resources. You can bet they have performed exhaustive testing and benchmarking before making such a statement. If you want to challenge him, you'd better have done the same and can show the results to the contrary. As popular as Android has become, it's easy to forget that it's the newest kid in the block, which means it had the least amount of time to evolve and develop. Besides, software has always been a step or two behind hardware.

50. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Anandtech did a a review of Tegra 2 phones...and said since 2.2 Android could take advantage of multiple cores: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4144/lg-optimus-2x-nvidia-tegra-2-review-the-first-dual-core-smartphone/7 I dont think it was the OS that wasnt seeing both cores...as so many claim 2.3 doesnt use multiple cores...yet if I open Syetem Panel app on my RAZR....and go to the cpu section of the app....and swipe up n down you will see both cores show activity. If I stop it shows one core with activity. I think Android itsself and the apps wasnt taking better advantage of it.

57. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

But other factors effect smoothness, snappiness IIRC: coding of the OS, file systems, read/write access, etc. Some of the custom UI's did a better job at it than stock Android in some areas. Some manufactures did a better job of it than others. One perfect example if the file system issues that caused GS1 phones to lag vs. other phones that came out around the same time. That also lead to worse read/write access vs the Droid X1...IIRC. Hell...just changing the launcher on the Droid X1 before the GB update made home screen scrolling alot better. After the GB update....home screen scrolling became alot better IMO. And Blur on the RAZR is even better. I just think Android and manufactures didnt take better advantage of it. Case in point: scrolling on the iPhone and WP7 in 2010. Its alot better on Android now than in 2010 vs those 2 phones.

92. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

why don't you? if you disagree with him, show your proofs. He's an expert, you're just a commentator.

7. FAW-Q

Posts: 63; Member since: Jul 29, 2011

In other words, why waste perfectly good hardware on a crap OS.

8. leftheodo

Posts: 108; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Yes we know the iPhone 4s has a dual core CPU but we are not talking about iOS here!

10. eDiesel

Posts: 142; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

Is it me or does ios look like an android app drawer that shifts horizontally. what a pathetic os. User experience my butt....

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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