Octa-Core Processor – Real vs Illusive Octa-Core Processor – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

             Smartphones are one of the great gadget that is used in daily life. It almost replaces desktops and laptops for doing our day to day activities in terms of digital world. Some of the daily task which we do with smartphones are E-mail, chat, browsing, downloading applications, watching videos, camera, video recording and many more. The above mentioned applications are usually done in common. Some people use high-end applications to demonstrate animation, graphics, rendering, CAD etc with use of special applications which are exclusive for smartphones. Such smartphones requires high processing power to run those high-end applications. Samsung Galaxy S4 is one such powerful smartphone with octa-core processor.  But is the smartphone really using that octa-core processor with full efficiency? The answer is NO.

What is the problem with current octa-core processor?

Consider the smartphone Samsung Galaxy S4 which has two quad-core processors. One processor is  quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor and the other is quad core ARM Cortex A15 processor which are build into single chip. The ARM Cortex A15 processor is more powerful than the ARM Cortex A7 processor.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is build in such a way that the smartphone uses only one of the quad-core processor and the usage will be based on the applications we are using or the processing load on the CPU. If we are running applications which requires low processing power, then the low performance quad core Cortex A7 processor will be used. If we are running applications which requires high processing power, then the high performance quad-core Cortex A15 processor will be used. Note that only one of the quad-core processor is used at anytime. The reason for this type of architecture is the battery performance.

Running a octo-core processor consumes more battery compared to running quad-core processor and in order to maximize the performance for more processor demanding applications, the high end processor is dedicated. So the smartphones with octa-core processor are not true octa-core smartphones.

Evolution of true octa-core processors

MediaTek is a semiconductor company to build first true octa-core processor where all the 8 cores of the processor can be used simultaneously with very low power consumption. Adding number of cores to a processor may improve the performance and it should be power efficient if we are using in smartphones or mobile devices. MediaTek has claimed that its new octa-core processor is 18% more efficient than current generation quad-core processor and also claimed to give 20% more performance in terms of frames.

              In the above image Figure 1 represent the processor where only one of the quad is used for processing. But in Figure 2 all the 8 cores are active. We may soon see this processor in future mobile devices.

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