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Is the single core intel processor better for multitasking than other multicore processors for android phones. EXPERTS VIEW NEEDED

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Posted

Intel claims their processors are better than multicore processors, what is the actual fact

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I also heard that intel claims their processors are better than multicore processors. According to Intel, when they conducted tests with Android devices running more than one processor on Ice Cream Sandwich, they determined that the multiple cores provided little to no benefit most of the time. The multiple cores can decrease performance.

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It's not as simple as "the Intel single core is better than an ARM based multicore", despite what the Intel PR machine would like us all to believe. It's dependant on the processor architectures, how much work needs to be done by the processors rather than the ancilliary stuff (DSPs, radios etc) and how much of the stuff that does need to be done in the processor can be effectively parallelised. That often comes down to the workload; and althrough Android does multitask, you usually are only doing one thing at a time - which probably plays to having a single but faster core, rather than many slower cores. However, this is a big simplification still, as the underlying architecture of Android itself comes into this too... see why some of us choke when we see statements like that from PR mouthpieces? :-)

To add to the fun, the Intel processor also supports hyperthreading, which means it has multiple pipelines and can run more than one thing in parallel anyway. Linux (and probably Android) would normally treat those as seperate "processors". Of course, there are differences in how those multiple pipelines can be optimised to run and switch between bits of code when compared to completely separate cores, but with the careful optimisation of the workload (ie careful rewriting of all the low-level bits of Android, ie the drivers) they can probably make Android run very well on that, just as everyone using ARM-based hardware currently does the same thing for their processors.

The big advantage (I think) for the intel chip is it's outright performance - its a fast processor. So when you need to do something serious, it can throw a lot of performance at the problem. Normally that would kill battery life, but Intel are getting very good at implementing very low power states in their processors, and selectively switching off bits of the silicon that aren't needed at any given point in time. They're also leveraging their manufacturing muscle to produce these at 32nm gate size, which will again help to significantly reduce the power consumption, and matches the manufacturing processes that Samsung are using on the latest Exynos 4212 they're putting into the Galaxy S3...

Does that help?

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You seek "experts", but the real experts are working at Intel... and anyone who claims to be "an expert", is usually not. I would have to say, unless you are a silicon designer or working in phone hardware development, you're VERY VERY unlikely to be a true "expert".

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