Money Matters - Simplified

Multi-core processors damaging Android performance?

Android Devices are always under the scanner as compared to the smooth performing Windows Phone or iOS mobile platforms. The androids have always been blamed for performance errors like lagging of voice, unsightly stuttering and choppy sounds. The hand of chip manufacturers has dished out two new Android versions to fix the previous consumer complaints.

Grabbing a new Smartphone out of the swarm depends on a few distinguishing features. Each device is the same as the last one a slab of metal having buttons and a display screen. The basic demand is the technology, built-in storage, RAM, wireless radio and the processor it uses. People do have brand loyalties that bind them to the companies. There is a war on between Texas instruments, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Samsung for the latest ARM processor keeping the size and power consumption of the machine the same.

All the mechanical giants are struggling to create the same speed as the large electronic machines with the same power and battery back up in the miniature gadget. Intel also hopes for the same goal but a report from “The Inquirer” quotes Intel that it is futile to create a multi-core processor. The first step and need of the hour is to optimize the Android’s thread scheduler first.

In an interview to "The Inquirer", Mike Bell, GM of Intel's Mobile and Communications group clearly claims;

"If you are in a non-power constrained case, I think multiple cores make a lot of sense because you can run the cores full out, you can actually heavily load them and/or if the operating system has a good thread scheduler. A lot of stuff we are dealing with, thread scheduling and thread affinity, isn't there yet and on top of that, largely when the operating system goes to do a single task, a lot of other stuff stops. So as we [Intel] move to multiple cores, we're actually putting a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it.

If you take a look a lot of handsets on the market, when you turn on the second core or having the second core there [on die], the [current] leakage is high enough and their power threshold is low enough because of the size of the case that it isn't entirely clear you get much of a benefit to turning the second core on. We ran our own numbers and [in] some of the use cases we've seen, having a second core is actually a detriment, because of the way some of the people have not implemented their thread scheduling."

Bell’s statement hints that multi-core architecture hold up of the Android is inadequately applied. This could indicate that using a second core simultaneously can prove to be "detrimental" to the gadget’s performance. If that is so it remains to be seen.