Currently there are four major manufacturers of processors for mobile phones: Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Producers such as the Chinese company is the dominant rock chip or even on the desktop market giant Intel in mobile terminals in Europe play a minor role, however. Anyone who compares the approaches of the four major manufacturers will find exciting matches, but also differences in approaches to the subject of multi-core.
All the same – but different
All chips used are based on the ARM design – seen, the four firms forth do not have their own processors, but they only change. But that is far harder than it sounds, and leads to very different results, which show different views of the competitors. While Qualcomm is proud of the fact that the dual-core chip clocked asynchronously, the company can therefore operate with different clock frequencies, voltages and power, Nvidia maintains that even counterproductive.According to the processor can Newcomer mobile operating systems like Android does not deal with anyway differently clocked processor cores. Also brake the shared cache memory from the system because of the faster core must always wait until a response of the slower. In the desktop segment will therefore dispense with it.
For the future, there is disagreement. While Nvidia has announced long ago the next generation with four processor cores and the first devices that already at the end of the year are expected, is Texas Instruments prefer to use two fast cores, the weaker of two support: In the Tegra 3 are stuck four Cortex-A9 cores in OMAP5 two powerful Cortex A15 and M4 two simpler units. The logic behind this: Nvidia relies on increased multitasking and that four equally strong cores and more tasks simultaneously and equally well to work through. In the opinion of the Texas Instruments but consumes too much power – or at least more than two more modern chips. Because Nvidia has to be applied to produce even simple tasks for a full processor core, the OMAP5 jump in one of the smaller nuclei. The large A15 then take over only the heavy lifting. Which theory is correct, will show only the practice.
More processor cores are not only the future
More cores means more power and less power consumption. But the fact is that a processor chip anyway, not only from the main nuclei exists, but from numerous subnuclei, the specialist for individual sub-tasks. Thus, even the graphics accelerators consist of up to 10 cores, which are particularly good about it, play video or run 3D calculations. Whether there are really four cores make more sense than two? However, Nvidia does not plan to increase with each new processor generation to simply the number of cores, and stresses similar to Texas Instruments, that the improvement of individual cores is extremely important.
Tegra zone and game-stroke – and what else?
Another point that is approached differently by the manufacturers, the dissemination of specially adapted software like games. Nvidia Tegra is a very early stage of his went into the offensive zone in order to provide users of mobile devices with Tegra chipset a better overview of specially tailored content. In addition, the company’s software– provider with the active help in the optimization. Draw from both parties have their benefits: Nvidia provides its customers added value and benefit of the programmer assistance by a large and experienced protege. Left Texas Instruments and Qualcomm are in strong support of developers, however, a separate overview for software platform aimed not at the moment. Samsung is referring to his Game stroke, the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2011 are also available on tablets. There are already similar to the Tegra zone specifically to find the performance of the devices adapted games.
Despite differences again?
The use of smart phones and tablets just keep evolving in the direction of desktop PC, all manufacturers have to agree. Games, Multimedia and Internet use have reached a level that corresponds roughly to the power of a computer from a few years ago. Therefore, whether the move towards multi-core processors only logical, then the Samsung representative on the conversation. Finally, dual cores are more powerful and consume in a direct comparison with the same demand less power. But despite all the different philosophies in chip design Samsung sees no major differences in the processors. On the contrary, the manufacturer sold in some regionsGalaxy S2 instead of their own Exynos chip with the two Nvidia Tegra out. Great differences in performance were not there but to notice.
Advantages and disadvantages of dual core chips
A simple rule of thumb is: more cores, more power. But that is only half the story, as substantiated in an interview with Texas Instruments figures. In fact, bring two cores, compared to a non-double performance, but only 1.7-fold and four cores is not four times, but only 2.5 times the performance. The next half-truth: The lower power of multicore chips. That is basically correct, but only if they are one and the same activities are compared. Nvidia has called this a clear example: Will a single core running at 1 gigahertz with a specific task with 100 percent utilization, the same task could be done by two cores clocked at 550 MHz only. This means in this example that the single-core consumes 1.1 volts, the dual core chip but overall only 0.8 volts -. A power savings of 40 percent this embezzled the provider but like the fact that multi-core processors under full load as 3D games also like to consume more electricity than a single core. But in the opinion of Nvidia’s only logical: If you want more power, must also live with more power consumption. For what good is a single-core, which, although used less power but can not deliver the required performance? Currently, there is another point also speaks against multi-core chips: the price. Although none of the producers wanted to make details of the additional costs of dual-core processors, but that they are more expensive than their brothers is simple, clear. That should change soon, however.Corresponding chips are only manufactured in large quantities, prices fall – this simple marketing formula also applies to processors, such as Samsung said.
Dual cores have more power – why is it still jerky?
The tests have shown it Areamobile: Even Dual-Core Mobile Tablets are sometimes at their limits and show that by more or less severe stuttering while zooming or scrolling. Because the chips are not to blame, according to the unanimous opinion of the manufacturer. This was partially on the operating system of the smartphone. According to statements from Nvidia was about to launch Android 3.0 Honeycomb still not as mature as it should have – with the next version 3.1, it was a performance boost of about 30 percent. The drivers – such as for the graphics accelerator – it could be further optimized and uploaded with the new version of the OS.
Another problem, according to the manufacturers are not properly programmed user interfaces of smart phones, the processor-Quadriga. If the developers skimp here, even the strongest processor profitable anymore. This could be particularly impressive when LG Optimus Speed ??see the first dual-core smartphone world. Only after numerous firmware updates the unit reached a performance level that a dual-core smartphone is worthy.
With the next generation of multi-core processors is not far from the end – to an older roadmapNvidia had announced some time ago about his goal in just five years, the power to verachtzigfachen the Tegra chips. Looking at the current development, which also seems quite plausible. Whether it makes sense in the near future more than four cores, is the difference between the views of the manufacturers – over short or long to be but at least the dual-core chips, which are currently only top equipment reserve, also in Mid-and Lowrange devices catchment . keep About a lack of power should be at least nobody can complain.