Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, has caused quite a stir with its recent comments that Android SOC (System-on-chip) vendors like Samsung, Nvidia and Qualcomm haven’t done enough to optimize Android for multi-core processors. According to Intel tests have shown that in some cases, using the second core on a dual-core chip from another manufacturer (they wouldn’t say which one) actually results in decreased performance versus using a single core. They say the benefits of the second core aren’t being realized because the processor scheduler, which sends “jobs” to a specific processor to complete, hasn’t been optimized to work with the Android OS. Intel blames the SOC manufacturers and not Google for this, as it’s their prerogative to make sure their chips operate the way they are intended.
Now, let’s step back and take a look at all this. It’s no coincidence that Intel is about to start pushing its single-core ”Medfield” chips onto the Android market in the coming months. It goes without saying that Intel needs to make a case for single-core processors in a world of dual-core and quad-core devices. If Intel can show that similar (or better) performance can be achieved by a single core, I don’t think anyone is going to complain. If Intel’s claims about more optimization being needed are true (which they may be, at least partly), hopefully having the 800-pound gorilla of the processor world calling out other manufacturers will see some real action on their parts to improve performance. Either way some competition in the processor space, whether it’s in the hardware design or the software that runs on it, is good for the Android ecosystem.
source: The Inquirer