Qualcomm asserts eight-core mobile processors are 'dumb'

By on August 2, 2013, 4:30 PM
qualcomm, samsung, mobile, cpu, mediatek, octa-core

Qualcomm has joined the likes of Nokia and Intel in raining on the proverbial multi-core processor parade. During a recent chat with Taiwan media, Qualcomm senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher said eight-core processors like the new chips recently announced are flat out “dumb.”

The executive suggested that adding more cores was like trying to take eight lawnmower engines, putting them together and claiming you have an eight cylinder Ferrari engine. It just doesn’t make sense, he quipped.

Instead, Chandrasekher said his company focuses on giving consumers a good experience which requires a good modem, long battery life and an affordable price point (in that order). Adding more cores into the equation is like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks, he concluded.

The remarks come just days after – and in response to – an announcement from rival MediaTek that they have developed a true octa-core ARM processor. You may recall that Samsung also has an octa-core processor known as the Exynos 5 Octa. That chip, however, isn’t a true eight-core setup as it uses ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration in which only four cores are ever active at any given time.

MediaTek insists their octa-core processor, scheduled to arrive during the fourth quarter of this year, enables enhanced multi-tasking capabilities that will greatly improve the experience of users’ applications. The company also says the configuration will help reduce the chip’s overall power consumption which could go a long way in proving battery life.




User Comments: 28

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treetops treetops said:

Lol really a good modem

ikesmasher said:

8 cores are rather overkill...I dont think 4 cores are, though, when it comes to more professional devices...

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Throwing spaghetti against the wall is an easy way to tell if is done cooking.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Hmm maybe they don't have a 8 core?

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Good for you Qualcomm. Don't pull a 180 on us please.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

The issues with the other cores beyond 2-cores is most of the software is geared for 1-core. Second core was good to you could do more things at the same time. I own 1, 2, 4 cords it's okay. But 8 cores would be overkill since nothing really going to use the extra cores.

JC713 JC713 said:

8 core CPUs are dumb for mobile devices. We dont even have many consumer 8 core CPUs...

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

AMD Opteron 6000 is 16-core.. I don't need so many cores. Smartphone I just have 2 cores now that's all I need.

avoidz avoidz said:

Just another marketing gimmick to sell more devices to the mostly dumb masses.

JC713 JC713 said:

Just another marketing gimmick to sell more devices to the mostly dumb masses.

I would say it is marketed toward the non-technical crowd rather than "dumb".

distantreality said:

I would be happy with 2 cores at 3ghz with 8 gigs of ram...

Guest said:

I would be three-quarters happy with 3 cores at 2.66GHz, with 6.71 gigs of ram, but no mobo.

Guest said:

Now one will ever need more than 640k

maybe not now, but someday

Guest said:

Eight cores is a great way to drain a battery pretty fast. If you can do 50% of what a 8 core can do with just 2 cores and have 50% more batery life, who need that much power on their cell phones?, it is not like you are gonna play crysis on them.

distantreality said:

Now one will ever need more than 640k

maybe not now, but someday

ok bill

Bing311 Bing311 said:

Another stupid guy claiming another thing as stupid. Well,one day he is going to eat his words just like the other stupids claiming something as dumb. It is just a matter of time when either the hardware itself or the software can very efficiently utilize all cores available and the more, the better. It's just like when some stupid claims that we dont need another os when android was just starting out. Look where android is now.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This guy has no vision for a greater future.

Back 20 years ago the power of a supercomputer in a home PC was dumb. But yet you can just about get the same performance out of a cellphone. We are talking 59.7 GFLOPS in a supercomputer of 1993 vs 25 GFLOPS in a Mobile SoC GPU (and the Mobile link is even dated). Can you imagine what everyone thought in 1993, about needing that much power in a hand-held device?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLOPS#Records

In late 1996, Intel's ASCI Red was the world's first supercomputer to achieve one TFLOP and beyond.

In June 2008, AMD released ATI Radeon HD4800 series, which are reported to be the first GPUs to achieve one teraFLOPS scale. On August 12, 2008 AMD released the ATI Radeon HD 4870X2 graphics card with two Radeon R770 GPUs totaling 2.4 teraFLOPS.

On November 12, 2012, the TOP500 list certified Titan as the world's fastest supercomputer per the LINPACK benchmark, at 17.59 petaFLOPS.

1 person liked this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

If he said that 8 cores are "dumb" at this point and time (or generation), then I would agree with him. But without a time constraint, he sounds pretty dumb...

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Mmm it's an interesting argument. Only need 8 core if you can utilise that many threads. Not sure why a phone needs that much firepower either. You'd have to change what smartphone os's do. Advanced video/audio processing in real-time? Who knows..

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Lol really a good modem
Yup. A good-quality modem that minimises power consumption is essential. This is in the top three (if not highest) power guzzling things/apps on your mobile.

By the way, spreading workload over more cores is beneficial to battery life. 8 cores running at 0.2GHz is better than two cores running at 0.8GHz. More voltage is required for lower-cores at higher frequencies, which means more battery drain.

Case in point, why was P4 abandoned? Because of high power consumption and temps. Dual-core CPU's demolished P4's on all fronts. Also, you can see Intel is having ~3.5GHz as the highest clocks that the consumer (and even enterprise) CPU's get.

2 people like this | Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Case in point, why was P4 abandoned? Because of high power consumption and temps. Dual-core CPU's demolished P4's on all fronts. Also, you can see Intel is having ~3.5GHz as the highest clocks that the consumer (and even enterprise) CPU's get.

Low IPC due to pipeline stalls, they aimed for high clock rates rather than increasing IPC * clock speed which is the real goal. Architecture was very inefficient.

It seems to be easier to increase IPC via better multi-operation (SIMD etc) instructions, branch prediction, addon dedicated operation instruction sets like AES libraries than trying to break down the pipeline into smaller pieces and ramping up clock rate. After all the specialised nature of much of the x86 instruction set is why it beats RISC based processors as you gain a small amount of kludge in your processor but gain massive efficiency or throughput in specific ops (which are obviously tuned to bottlenecks).

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Why are all those people just sitting under the Qualcomm sign in the pic?... Demonstrating their aversion to an eight core processor?

PinothyJ said:

Just another marketing gimmick to sell more devices to the mostly dumb masses.

I would say it is marketed toward the non-technical crowd rather than "dumb".

It is a rare thing for the six cores in my PC to be all working at once, why would I want two more in my phone?

Human, huh...

kaoru said:

Why cant we use these chips with windows OS? They are extremely efficient? are

there any hacks or anything for it to work?

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Why cant we use these chips with windows OS? They are extremely efficient? are

there any hacks or anything for it to work?

They aren't x86 I thought? They are ARM... your entire Windows app ecosystem wouldn't run on them.

Guest said:

I agree with cliffordcooley about the advancement of technology. It was not long ago that people were saying 2GB of RAM was overkill. There is nothing wrong with advancing technology.

I think the point here is to argue that 8 cores is overkill NOW. Because the OS cant really take advantage of it. Buying a phone NOW with 8 cores is dumb because you wont get the benefit of using it. Mobile software is evolving slower than the hardware. That's the problem.

How about we quit with this ARM BS and go with x86 or even 64. I would trade a 8-16-24 Core ARM processor any day for a 2-Core x86. I would even sacrifice the ultra thin phone design. You cant get much thinner anyway. Windows 7/Linux/MacOS on your phone anyone? Make it happen Intel!

PinothyJ said:

I agree with cliffordcooley about the advancement of technology. It was not long ago that people were saying 2GB of RAM was overkill. There is nothing wrong with advancing technology.

I think the point here is to argue that 8 cores is overkill NOW. Because the OS cant really take advantage of it. Buying a phone NOW with 8 cores is dumb because you wont get the benefit of using it. Mobile software is evolving slower than the hardware. That's the problem.

How about we quit with this ARM BS and go with x86 or even 64. I would trade a 8-16-24 Core ARM processor any day for a 2-Core x86. I would even sacrifice the ultra thin phone design. You cant get much thinner anyway. Windows 7/Linux/MacOS on your phone anyone? Make it happen Intel!

Android is Linux; there was a Windows 7 phone; and who the hell wants the latter.

I am more interested in the Firefox OS than anything else...

Guest said:

Android is Linux; there was a Windows 7 phone; and who the hell wants the latter.

I am more interested in the Firefox OS than anything else...

You obviously don't understand the difference between a mobile OS running on an ARM chip VS a full OS running on a x86/64 chip.

treetops treetops said:

Sounds like they are mad that they now have to make a 8 core phone, they were planning on squeezing money out of us for years with 2 core 4 core 6 core phones.

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