They say that the the more cores the better when it comes to computers. Now smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and LG Nexus 4 have started to come with four cores. And it seems that if rumors of an 8-core (4×4) Samsung Galaxy S4 are true then it appears that 4-cores isn’t going to be where smartphones will stop.
Samsung Galaxy S4 8-core rumors: is it overkill?
MediaTek, based in Taiwan, are one of the largest suppliers in the world when it comes to processors and and they are currently working on an eight core processor. The MT6599 chip will be made on the advanced 28nm process and it could be seen on the ZTE phone at some point during the second half of 2013. This would be a large leap for the manufacturers as at the moment their most advanced chip is the dual core processor, the Cortex A9, which is used on many Android 4 handsets at the moment. The 8 core processor would allow them to target the higher end devices, including tablets.
Samsung are also thought to be working on an 8 core system on chip and they are expected to present their findings at the chip conference which takes place early next year. This includes two clusters of quad core processors, one of which is high performance and based on the Cortex A15 and the other a lower one based around the Cortex A7. This is called the ARM bigLittle architecture and is believed to be making its way to the Samsung Galaxy S4 first.
By turning off cores that are not needed, tech such as the Tegra quad core processor and big.Little will ensure that multi-cores are able to work better when it comes to mobile devices but at the same time not be a burden on the battery. But do smartphones really need so many cores? And is software ready to be able to take advantage of them?
The iPad 4 has one of the most powerful mobile processors to be found, the A6X, and this is only dual core. Intel is still in the process of shipping out single cores for their devices and the Windows 8 tablets which are dual core.
However, people thought the same about quad core processors, wondering if they were needed, just a year ago. Today there are numerous devices using the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and the Exynos quad core processor, along with the Tegra (LG Nexus 4, HTC DROID DNA, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, HTC One X). And all these quad-core devices are tearing it up in benchmarks versus their dual-core counterparts!