Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Intel says Android's not for Multi-Core Chips

Dual-core and quad-core processors were first used on our PCs and laptops, and their sole purpose were to improve the processing speed of our devices, making it powerful enough to handle our daily tasks and gaming. But now, as we can all see, they're embedding the same to smartphones. Sometimes we just wonder if smartphones really need those powerful processors and...can it make use of the cores' full potential?

Nokia said before that multi-core processors were just wasting the device's battery. Now, the GM of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group, Mike Bell, says Android isn't not just ready for these processors.

Intel has run tests to prove what they're saying. The results conclude that it's the thread scheduler that has the problem.

In easy terms, the thread scheduler is the part of the OS which decides what core to use for an app, if it needs extra cores or just turn the other cores to sleep to save energy, and it's not an easy task. 

"The way it's implemented right now, Android does not make as effective use of multiple cores as it could, and I think - frankly - some of this work could be done by the vendors who create the SoCs, but they just haven't bothered to do it. Right now the lack of software effort by some of the folks who have done their hardware implementation is a bigger disadvantage than anything else." says Bell.

Intel is now turning their heads to the mobile industry, and we can see some smartphones with Intel-powered processors, mostly single-cores, which are admittedly fast. Recently, they've been working on a dual-core processor optimized for Android devices, and they're trying to solve its problem in the thread scheduler.

Seems a nice move for Intel, who is slowly entering the mobile industry. What do you think?