Feeds

Say WHAT? Qualcomm, MediaTek scrap over who has best 'marketing gimmick' octocore

5-bladed razor's so stupi.. 'Introducing the Mach5Shavo'

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

MWC 2014 Qualcomm launched its first 8-core processors at Mobile World Congress this week, after last year describing octocore chips as "a marketing gimmick".

You can’t take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari," Qualcomm's senior VP Anand Chandrasekher said last year. "We don’t do dumb things.”

Big error, said upstart MediaTek, which is No 2 to Qualcomm in the fabless chip market, and a third of the size of the San Diego pioneer. But it still ships a mind-boggling 220 million smartphone chips into the market. MediaTek already has a number of octocore chips and announced new ones this week, too. And it wasn't going to pass on the chance to gloat.

Qualcomm's new 610 and 615 SoCs integrate LTE radio with eight 64-bit A53 cores and Adreno 405 graphics. The cores are bunched into groups of four, with each tuned to a different performance level. More granular control, which MediaTek says makes the difference, isn't yet possible. Nor is the A53 the most powerful - it's tuned for power not performance.

MediaTek says its octocore chips offer far more granular and responsive power control than tweaking two banks of four.

MediaTek's octo-core now does 802.11ac

"We understand this much better than Qualccomm," says former Qualcomm marketing guru Johan Lodenius, speaking to The Register today. The current MediaTek CMO adds: "We know those markets better; now we see Qualcomm doing an 8-core, something they said it was dumb - who's in the lead now?"

Both Qualcomm and MediaTek are targeting the "super mid market", a bell curve between the starting retail price of $79, where smartphones sell today, up to $300. Qualcomm is moving down and MediaTek is moving up.

MediaTek announced another new octocore that should pop up in phones later this year: the MT6595. The SoC uses eight Cortex-A17s and integrates LTE, 4K video (aka H.265 Ultra HD), along with support for 802.11ac for the first time.

Lodenius knows Qualcomm as well as anyone: the former Ericsson chip designer led Qualcomm's marketing for eight years of astronomical growth, from 1996 to 2004, and joined the Taiwanese designer at the end of 2012.

"You should never tell the market what to do. They're still saying it's a marketing gimmick," Lodenius told us. "To me that just doesn't compute". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.