Feeds

Qualcomm exec on eight-core mobile chips: They're 'dumb'

'We don't do dumb things,' says man who managed Intel's anemic mobile efforts

Build a business case: developing custom apps

If you have been wondering when the chip designers at Qualcomm were going to come up with an eight-core processor, as have competitors Samsung and MediaTek, you can stop wondering. They're not. Why? Because octo-core chips are "dumb."

"We don't do dumb things," Qualcomm SVP and marketing headman Anand Chandrasekher said in response to a question during a Q&A session after his remarks at a Taiwan media roundtable this Wednesday.

"When you can't engineer a product that meets the consumers' expectations, maybe that's when you resort to simply throwing cores together – that is the equivalent of throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks," he said.

"That's a dumb way to do it, and I think our engineers aren't dumb."

Taiwan's MediaTek and Korea's Samsung disagree – although those two companies take quite different approaches in their octo-core designs. MediaTek recently announced its True Octo-Core chip for mobile devices. This chip, as its name implies, houses eight coequal cores that can be fired up as needed, with all eight capable of working together, or separately on multitasking operations.

Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa (recently fingered in a benchmark-boosting brouhaha) takes another route to octo-coreness, using ARM's big.LITTLE scheme of marrying high-performance and low-power cores on the same chip – in this case, four high-performance ARM Cortex-A15 cores and four low-power ARM Cortex-A7 cores – and switching among them as power and performance needs require. (MediaTek also offers a quad-core big.LITTLE chip.).

But don't expect Qualcomm to employ either of those design tactics – not if ex-Intel mobile man Chandrasekher wasn't blowing smoke during his Taiwan remarks.

"We don't believe the best experience is defined by the number of cores," Chandrasekher said. "That's actually a very silly way to think about delivering the capabilities that the consumer needs."

When asked specifically about Qualcomm's competitor – presumably MediaTek – having announced an octo-core product, he was dismissive. "I'm not a huge fan of what they are doing. I personally don't think it is going to be very successful in the marketplace," he said.

"You can't take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari."

Perhaps, but in the world of ARM processors, most chip integrators use nearly identical lawnmower engines. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.