Qualcomm video promo takes aim at MediaTek; it's not the quantity of cores, it's the quality

Qualcomm video promo takes aim at MediaTek; it's not the quantity of cores, it's the quality
So what is better, the quality or quantity of cores on a processor? If you listen to Qualcomm, it is the quality of the cores. In a video that calls to mind Guitar Hero, Qualcomm says that 17 of the top 20 apps in China use no more than 2 cores. Qualcomm's point is that apps need faster cores, not more cores. Additionally, Qualcomm says that with each generation, Snapdragon CPU cores are rebuilt while the competition chooses to copy the same old cores.

According to Qualcomm, the current generation Snapdragon has 170% faster CPU performance than the OG Snapdragon chips. While specs fanatics like to talk about the CPU, it makes up only 15% of the Snapdragon SoC which also includes the GPU, 4G LTE, DSP, Camera and Connectivity.

Why does Qualcomm feel the need to discuss quality vs. quantity of cores? Well, it might have to do with the MediaTek MT6592, the world's first true octa-core processor. Unlike the Samsung Exynos, which only has one group of four cores active at any given time, the MediaTek MT6592 uses all 8 cores at once. Mass production is scheduled for November.

Meanwhile, kudos to Qualcomm for producing an entertaining and quite visual video that gets its point across in a way that is perfectly suited to the demographic it is trying to reach.



source: Qualcomm

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35 Comments

1. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Ahh this is the beauty of the market. You see even though Qualcomm has a good name and produces (most probably) faster chipsets, manufacturing costs and threshold performance are also taken into consideration, therefore a lot more people may invest into the octocore due to cost reduction and possibly an even better battery life ;)

10. james004

Posts: 486; Member since: May 15, 2013

octocore is ridiculous, it sure sounds fun and awesome but it such an overkill. android doesnt even use octocores. let alone other apps. we are now getting a few apps that use more than 2 cores. Qualcomm needs to address how to reduce the heat produce from those cores. qualcomm is better than others but they can improve on it more.

11. dan86

Posts: 298; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

Soon we'll have a mini supercomputer in hand in form of a smartphone running peta flops of data. On the other part I feel sad for Qualcomm that they had to push themselves to explain that their processor is better than Mediatek which actually never bragged its competition over Qualcomm or Exynos! Strange fact is that the giants can also be insecure.

25. TheLolGuy

Posts: 483; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

It's not really about being insecure. They make a point about the power of each individual core vs the number. Not only are heavily multithreaded cores harder to program, but will be exponentially harder to debug and maintain as well. No developer wants to go through that. Through the PC era, developers didn't need to optimize their code because the hardware performance leaps carried them... they don't have that luxury now that people want crazy performance out of hardware 1/8th the power of an average modern desktop. This is why Intel was ahead and AMD was behind. AMDs FX series outperformed Intel in niche applications involving heavily multithreaded code -- some of the most sophisticated software around. For everything else (aka 99% of average developers coding at best for dual core) Intel saw better performance because each individual core was stronger. Especially for phones, at least for now, its better to save the die space and remove some cores and stick with dual core. Extra cores are subject to diminishing returns and when most software is at best dual core-optimized, comparing a dual core Snappy vs a octa core Mediatek is like comparing two dual cores when it comes to real life usage -- only except one will have way weaker individual cores.

2. bohdan4ik13 unregistered

Pretty Cool ad!

3. pokharkarsaga

Posts: 557; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

In Android we consider quantity over quality.More cores more innovation.

6. special4u

Posts: 63; Member since: May 22, 2013

ya, i hope they can come up with 16 cores next year, samsung gona be the 1st to do it!

34. sarge77

Posts: 202; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

Yeah they will but we'll never see it in the US their having issues with their octa core thats why only 20% of note 3 will have it and 80% will use snapdragon 800. To many promises for samsung that dont deliver.

7. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

If by "we" you mean the 10% who can't tell the diff between a dual A15 to a quad A9 or A7 AND the crucial role of the included GPU design then yes. The rest 90% are actually well informed otherwise.

4. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

it's not only mediatek it's aimed at. samsung also has their faux-octocore chip.

9. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

That may be true, but at least Samsung uses A15 and A7 cores for their chips instead of just A7. So you at least have A15 performance available to you.

5. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Well the octa-core Mediatek SOC will cost less than half of even the S4 Play. Enough reason for premium mid-range devices to go to Mediatek IMO.

8. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Still not happening fast enough though. Just small play OEMs like Acer and lower which isn't up to par in terms of fw/sw longevity/quality.

15. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

Yea, true that. Mostly premium China-made phones employ Mediatek SoCs. But in EU and South East Asia (including China) Mediatek is selling more chips than Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Samsung combined. So maybe it's pointless for Qualcomm to out this video since they have totally different markets. Or probably this is aimed at Samsung's dual-quad "octa-core"?

12. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

And this is the "single thread performance" I have been talking about. Most applications don't go over 2 threads, so more than 2 cores is already plenty. 8 cores with low performance each? Just a joke to fool ignorant people. Give me A15 or Krait400 cores with a good GPU and I'll be much better served.

13. taikucing unregistered

"The CPU is just 15% of the Snapdragon processor." Yeah. So true. CPU is very important, but there are other things that are also important too like GPS. As a mediatek phone owner, I tell you, the GPS which is carried by mediatek is useless & crap. It's very difficult to get the position even for hours. It's so frustating while you need to know where you are now but the GPS is not working. Many mediatek phone users I've met in the forums share the same GPS problem too, no matter what types of mediatek CPU they have, 1 or 2 or 4 cores. They sucks in GPS. And it doesn't have compass too.

14. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Android have to optimize their OS in such a way that even a single core or less than that would be able to perform smoothly, otherwise specs hungry people will go for octa, 16 32, 64 cores and so on and it will never end.

18. yowanvista

Posts: 341; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

It's actually not a userland issue but rather depends on how the underlying Linux kernel was compiled and with what parameters in mind. Then comes the choice of scheduler (IKS and GTS). Actually those high end devices with kernel 3.4.y can already manage cores efficiently at the kernel level, moreover the Dalvim VM already takes advantage of multiple cores. It's just up to Apps to harness cores.

16. Topcat488

Posts: 1419; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Let Samsung give MediaTek some "Top Chips" i.e. A15‘s, and work together to get that Octa out to the consumers... Do what is best for the world by making better efficient SoC... For a "True" Little/Big Octa core.

17. yowanvista

Posts: 341; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Please check your facts before writing an article. The Exynos 5420 can use any number of cores at a time with GTS.

19. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

Quad core is more than enough for smartphones... The apps have to push it. That is why I didn't stay in the Android bubble... Lots of gimmicks and features I never even use... Not to mention the work you have to put in to get the most out of it and/or make it stable unlike the PC market with games like crysis that make your current rig scream and force you to upgrade your specs... Android doesn't have any of that where is the crysis for android? Where is the justification for more specs? it is really telling when a dual core performs smoother than an octocore android is nothing but specs specs specs specs specs that go unused I used to enjoy tweaking and customizing my device to the last iota but now I'm just satisfied with something that just WORKS

35. sarge77

Posts: 202; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

It will be great to deliver octo core power and make it work all that power will come in handy for video editing on the fly with these devices ,but quality cores are needed and power per core I guess this is why Intel still boasting its dual core with broad power to out perform any quad core because it has multi threading don't believe these chips have multi threading this is why they want more cores.

20. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

THIS IS THE SH!T! we need something like this to tell android fans that WP dont need more and more cores because the os is optimized unlike laggydroid

24. androidfanboy

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 24, 2013

Stupid comment

26. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

butt hurt fanboy comment. the truth hurts through the bones doesnt it?

27. DukeX

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Dude just stop with the android lag comments. It should hurt through your teeth and bones to keep saying that crap Come up with something new jeez.

28. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

well seeing as there's an actual basis for the comment that its not about the number of cores its how well its optimized android lags, thats true what ever way you look at it, the fact many android fanboys attacked wp8 devices for its dual core then changed there tuned when the moto x made its appearance. so are you denying that lag exists, and that the number of cores is becoming just like the megapixel race?

29. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

true. and also nokia won the megapixel race against ALL. its not a useless race- cleverly used the 41mp count to its advantage for final 5/8mp photos.

31. DukeX

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Im not denying the lag exist. It's just not as apparent as most fanboys make it seem. They act like their own os CAN'T lag because it's powered by their ego. It really is a weak and old argument and im tired of seeing it. I have a dual core 1.5ghz device. I can clock it down as low as it can go and it's still very usable to a point you wouldn't even notice it's slightly slower than is should be. This is on a stock rom btw.

21. DemiImp

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 30, 2013

As a programmer I know it is relatively easy to use multiple cores with very little worry about concurrency issues. OpenMP is practically a standard, especially when you want to speed up slow portions of your program. I've used this before and I know many others do to easily take advantage of all the cores in a system. It allows you to code as if you are using a single thread but end up using every core in the machine. Now if you wanted full fledged threads, each with their own unique purpose... that is a different story. That kind of threading is very application-specific and can be quite significantly harder to utilize all the cores.

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