Intel Claims Android Does Not Use Multi-Core Processors Effectively
Mike Bell, General Manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group, recently made the claim that Android does not utilize multicore processors effectively, and that in some cases the use of multicores is actually slower than a single core. Here is a series of quotes from Mr. Bell,
What do you guys think of his comments? Does he have a point, or is he simply drawing a line in the sand trying to puff up Intel's new smartphone chips entering the market?
"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 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 at 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."
"I've taken a look at the multiple core implementations in the market, and frankly, in a thermal and/or power constrained environment - what has been implemented - it isn't obvious to me you really get the advantage for the size and the cost of what's going into that part. The way it's implemented right now, Android does not make as effective use of multiple cores as it could, and I think - frankly - some of this work could be done by the vendors who create the SoCs, but they just haven't bothered to do it."
"Right now the lack of software effort by some of the folks who have done their hardware implementation is a bigger disadvantage than anything else."
Thanks for the tip, jntdroid!