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Dual-Core Chips Coming To All Smartphones In 2011 244

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the waiting-for-the-triple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "All top of the range smartphones will be sporting dual-core chips this year. So is it time to ditch your current pocket rocket? Not necessarily — dual-core will give a bit of a boost to multitasking and media streaming but probably won't persuade iPhone owners to switch to Android, says the writer."
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Dual-Core Chips Coming To All Smartphones In 2011

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  • iPhone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imamac (1083405) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:17AM (#34861930)

    probably won't persuade iPhone owners to switch to Android

    And who is to say that the iPhone 5 won't be dual core?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Pojut (1027544)

      ^This. With all the hubub surrounding Tegra 2 and various other dual-core SOC designs, I'd be very surprised if the next iPhone iteration maintained a single-core design, ESPECIALLY now that iOS supports multitasking. Same goes for the iPad.

      • Re:iPhone (Score:4, Informative)

        by dc29A (636871) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:52AM (#34862514)

        iOS only supports true multitasking for a limited number of applications (phone, music player, voip, etc ...) , for everything else is it's not multitasking but swapping out programs left and right.

        • Which doesn't mean a single app can't use the two cores - iOS 4 comes with Grand Central Dispatch support. Could be useful for games.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          Still, that would be an improvement, and I'd have to think they'd do some tweaking on iOS for more true multi-tasking if they had >1 cores.

          I'm about to be eligible to trade up to a new iPhone from the 3GS. I'd been hearing rumors about an updated iPhone coming out maybe in Spring or around June...any thoughts on that?

          Anyone think if a new version comes out then, it will have multi-cores?

          I'd definitely wait on that.

          Damn..also hoping they'll grandfather in my unlimited data plan from the old phone to t

          • They will grandfather your data plan. I switched from an iPhone to a Android on AT&T and they let me keep my data plan so they should do the same for an iPhone upgrade.

        • First of all, having dual cores is not just about switching between apps.
          There's a lot of background processing and signalling that goes on behind the scenes on smart phones. They use the CPU for lots of things. Not all cellphone IO is handled by dedicated chips. Your CPU sees some of the traffic. It is why your device slows down when downloading a file or something.

          Even if all the 'apps' stay on the one core, but all these background tasks run on the other core, it will make a huge improvement for the

      • Re:iPhone (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:55AM (#34862578)

        Oh god... you can't be suggesting that they're going to FRAGMENT the number of cores? IPhone users will hate that.

      • Re:iPhone (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:38PM (#34864466) Journal

        ESPECIALLY now that iOS supports multitasking

        iOS has always supported multitasking. Run top on an old iPhone and you'll see lots of system daemons running in the background. It did not support more than one GUI application running at once, but this was due to memory constraints, not due to lack of CPU power. GUI apps tend to eat a load of RAM and the iPhone does not support swapping (well, actually, the kernel does, but you need to jailbreak it, install a terminal, and then turn it on). If you run more than one app, the others have to be aware of the increased memory constraints. This is less of a problem on the newer models, with more RAM, and will be irrelevant in a year or two when they all come with 2GB or so.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          iOS has always supported multitasking.

          The issue is that you, the user or developer were never and still are not permitted to use it.

          Basically it's like a car that can drive brilliantly at 150 KM/h but it's has a speed governor limiting it's speed to 20 KM/h because the builder doesn't think you will ever need to go faster than 20 KM/h. Yes I could remove the speed governor and "jailbreak" my engine but why should the I have to.

    • Re:iPhone (Score:4, Funny)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:36AM (#34862260)

      And who is to say that the iPhone 5 won't be dual core?

      Unlikely, really.

      First, a good reason to NOT be dual core is battery life - slower is better. iPhone hardware has always lagged the Android models - the original iPhone and iPhone 3G had 412MHz CPUs, while the G1 (same year) had a 524MHz CPU - nearly 25% faster. The iPhone 3GS sported a 624MHz CPU or so (50% faster than iPhone/iPhone 3G), at a time when the Android hotness was 1GHz CPUs (50% faster than iPhone 3GS). The iPhone 4 is supposed to have around an 800MHz CPU, and current gen Androids have 1.2GHz CPUs.

      The only thing to come close would be the iPad with its 1GHz processor.

      The iPad's also the most likely one to sport a dual core processor - it has the massive battery packs (it's what, 90% battery?) to have decent battery life with dual cores.

      If Androids of 2011 get dual core, it'll probably be 2012 at the earliest before Apple releases a dual core A5 chip or something for the iPhone, with the A5 debuting on the second gen iPad first at the absolute earliest. Or maybe it'll be 3rd gen iPad at that point.

      Remember, these are mobile devices, and even though I charge mine at the end of the day before I go to sleep, I'd still like to be able to get through the day without lugging extended battery packs.

      • Re:iPhone (Score:4, Insightful)

        by AvitarX (172628) <me@brandywinehund[ ].org ['red' in gap]> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:48AM (#34862454) Journal

        Considering my phone screen is 65%-85% of the battery, I am not too worried about a dual core.

        Also, I imagine with the ability to kill off cores when not needed a slower dual-core could use less than a single core, and run better.

        The iPad has massive battery because of the screen, which I bet is over 90% of the power used. Especially in one that is being used as a browser tablet without 3G (less going on when not being used).

        My current (4 hours since unplugged, not too much usage today vs a normal morning) has 65% display, 10% cell standby, 8% phone idle as the top 3. Not having the phone function would save 10% of my battery, but still the screen is the real killer. And on a typical day I use the screen a lot more in the morning.

        This is Tmobile G2 for reference.

        • by sznupi (719324)

          Considering my phone screen is 65%-85% of the battery

          ...only when you look at it.

      • Re:iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

        by todorb (169225) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:49AM (#34862468)

        two cores on lower clock rate may consume less energy than one core with fast clocking. energy use is proportional to the square of the clock rate, so it's a matter of tuning to achieve lower power. the only question is whether the slow cores will be fast enough for the important sequential tasks (if there are such at all).

      • Re:iPhone (Score:5, Informative)

        by dagamer34 (1012833) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:50AM (#34862484)
        Umm... the Android G1 had a 524Mhz Qualcomm processor and that was 2008. The first Android phone to come out with a 1Ghz Snapdragon was the Nexus One, and that wasn't until January 2010. And as far as current-gen Android phones having a 1.2Ghz processor, none of those have been released yet. All Android phones released in 2010 were capped at 1Ghz with chips from either Qualcomm or Samsung. The Samsung Infuse 4G is the first phone I'm aware of that at stock is greater than 1Ghz (it is 1.2Ghz).

        As for battery life, I'd like to direct you to this white paper: http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/tegra_white_papers/Benefits-of-Multi-core-CPUs-in-Mobile-Devices_Ver1.2.pdf [nvidia.com]

        Sure it's written by nVidia, but I doubt they are allowed to flat out lie, as that's some pretty bad PR. And it's the whole theory behind having dual cores in laptops anyway. 2 cores running at a lower clock speed is more power efficient than running one core at a higher clock speed.
        • by rickb928 (945187)

          And the G1 is underclocked to 328 or something in stock ROMs. Mine runs at 576 now. Root is cool.

        • by sznupi (719324)

          ARM and Nokia also stated, during the last year or so, that multicore is likely to help with battery life.

          ARM is of course as (or more) "suspect" as claims by Nvidia. Not Nokia though; and many of their phones show some care when it comes to battery life.

        • All Android phones released in 2010 were capped at 1Ghz with chips from either Qualcomm or Samsung. The Samsung Infuse 4G is the first phone I'm aware of that at stock is greater than 1Ghz (it is 1.2Ghz).

          Almost all the Motorola Android phones, and all the high-end ones currently shipping, use TI OMAP processors.

          First, Droid (Milestone) in 2009 used a TI OMAP 3430 [ti.com]

          Later, Droid X in 2010 used a TI OMAP 3630 at 1Ghz [ti.com]

          Finally, Droid 2 Global Launched on Nov 9 2001 [engadget.com] with a 1.2 GHz TI OMAP processor [motorola.com]

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        First, a good reason to NOT be dual core is battery life - slower is better. iPhone hardware has always lagged the Android models - the original iPhone and iPhone 3G had 412MHz CPUs, while the G1 (same year) had a 524MHz CPU - nearly 25% faster. The iPhone 3GS sported a 624MHz CPU or so (50% faster than iPhone/iPhone 3G), at a time when the Android hotness was 1GHz CPUs (50% faster than iPhone 3GS). The iPhone 4 is supposed to have around an 800MHz CPU, and current gen Androids have 1.2GHz CPUs

        Just for clarification, the clock speeds you cited are the downclocked speeds, not the "design spec" clock speeds. Look under "Processor" on this chart [wikipedia.org]. Not saying you're wrong, just saying the performance is purposely reduced from its actual potential for extra battery life.

      • Dual core could allow shutting down one of the cores when idle, which could save more battery than a single faster core.

      • You're modded funny but i guess you meant it seriously.
        The new dual cores draw less power for the same tasks then their old counterpart (in the very case of the ARM8 vs ARM9 CPUs), partially due to their dual core architecture.
        So anyway just had to put that somewhere.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Battery life.

      Jobs wont allow the iPHone to become the battery pig that many Android phones are. Current 4G iphones are snappy as hell. Even my old 3Gs is very useable with the latest OS installed.

      Honestly, I dont WANT dual core if my battery life suffers at all. I like gong all day long without having to charge it, and that is running a GPS app in the background to update my Latitude location every 10 minutes.

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        Android phones aren't battery hogs because of their high clock speed...it's mostly a combination of poor battery design by hardware companies and the inherent way Android functions. Newer Android phones (and the 2.3 version of the OS itself) are supposed to have enhanced battery life quite noticeably. That being said, switching my data connection from 3G to WiFi when possible usually extends my battery life by a solid 2-4 hours, depending on usage.

        While the crap battery life on my Eris does kind of suck,

        • I get about four days with my G2 if I'm not making videos or watching videos or using map navigation and so on, just making a normal number of calls and browsing occasionally. Watching videos it lasts about 5 hours, which could be improved but its not a big issue. Call me satisfied with battery performance, though any improvement would be welcome.

      • All other things being equal, running two cores at 400MHz uses significantly less power than running one at 800MHz. Given that Apple is pushing things like libdispatch in iOS, they expect mobile apps to be multithreaded and so they may get the same performance from two underclocked cores as from one at full speed. This would give an improvement in battery life.
  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:18AM (#34861950)

    I made a comment about dual/quad core phones a while back and was laughed at. It will happen folks and sooner than you suspect. Phones are quickly becoming our primary computing device, or at least the centerpiece of our electronic lives.

    It's not about playing Doom on a smart phone, it's about the phone being able to do everything we ask it to do without having to wait too long.

    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:19AM (#34861970) Homepage Journal

      You saw the headline... Dual core chips coming to ALL smartphones in 2011. That old blackberry I have from 2008 that's gathering dust? Yep, it will be dual core in 2011! Oh the cores!

      • by hedwards (940851)
        You're just being obtuse. It means that all new smartphones introduced in 2011 will use dual core chips. Still a rather high goal, but definitely plausible at this point.
        • by jeffmeden (135043)

          You're just being obtuse. It means that all new smartphones introduced in 2011 will use dual core chips. Still a rather high goal, but definitely plausible at this point.

          Although it hasn't technically happened yet, the iPhone 4 for Verizon is almost certainly being released in 2011, with a single core chip... So much for "ALL". The author should have just gone for "Some" and saved himself the ridicule. He is trying to read tea leaves when the writing is on the wall (as seen at CES) and as such he sounds like a pretty big idiot.

    • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:20AM (#34861984)
      I have an htc desire. It fast enough. What I need is a 3G connection on the train to and from work. That is the slow part.
    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:36AM (#34862266) Journal

      Key was Motorola's docking demonstrations at CES. Give it two years and everyone will be able to do it. Then you can park at for example a net cafe with a public monitor and plug in your phone and do some work, and a few games, then you keep your computing device (mostly) safely with you.

      • Symbian^3 phones (sort of) already have this, in that you can connect USB/Bluetooth mice/keyboard and attach it to a monitor using the HDMI port. Nokia just haven't packaged it together in a all in one, single connection product like this laptop dock. But the fact that so many phones are getting HDMI out sort of suggests that the manufacturers see them as being portable computers that you plug the extra dumb peripherals into.
    • by joh (27088)

      It's not about playing Doom on a smart phone, it's about the phone being able to do everything we ask it to do without having to wait too long.

      I've been playing Doom on my iPod touch years ago and didn't have to wait too long for anything...

    • by awyeah (70462) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:55AM (#34862572)

      Phones are quickly becoming our primary computing device, or at least the centerpiece of our electronic lives.

      Have you seen the Motorola Atrix (I think they showed it at CES)?

      This thing has a laptop dock [motorola.com]. That's not a dock that you can connect to your laptop, it's an actual laptop, made for the phone - the phone docks in the back and is the computer. It basically is a big keyboard and screen for the phone.

      I'm not saying that it's a good or bad thing, but it certainly is interesting. Who knows if the rest of the industry will follow suit.

      • by jgagnon (1663075) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:15PM (#34862984)

        That's exactly the way I see things headed. We will all be carrying around our "computer" and storage with us, and public places will simply augment it with larger screens and keyboard (as Motorola suggests) or in many other ways. In this way we buy the applications we use for our personal computing devices (PCD) and then have access to them everywhere we go. No more of this crap of buying software four times over for four machines at home.

        Imagine walking into the living room and your PCD magically becomes the remote for your TV, VCR, DVR, or whatever. Then you walk into the kitchen and you can control the microwave, stove, and other devices with it. Walk out of the house and your phone allows you to remotely set the alarm and lock the doors. It becomes the key to your car once you are in it or allows you to remote start it. You walk near a printer at work with it and print the document you grabbed from home. The possibilities are endless.

        • The future is already here to some extent- I can control my cable box from my iphone. If it had an IR transmitter, I could do a lot more with it, but even so, my blu ray player is connected to the network, and new TV's have network connectivity in many models now.

          I am a little fancy, but I actually have a NAS at home, with a webcam set up to it. I use it as a security camera of sorts and to see if my dog has destroyed the house yet if I am running late coming home.

          To be honest, I don't see the microwave and

      • by DrXym (126579)
        It that picture is illustrative of how the phone docks then Motorola needs to fire its designers. It would be more sensible to have it click into place with the screen or the keyboard. I expect some genius said "what happens if your phone rings" and that lead to the awkward design to accommodate people picking the phone up to answer. Which is fine until you consider what happens if you pick up the "laptop" bit to go a meeting room or whatever and the phone goes flying to the floor. Perhaps with ultra wide b
        • by Scyber (539694)
          Videos from CES showed people holding the laptop dock with phone upside down and (gently) shaking it. The phone did not leave the dock.

          http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/07/gaming-on-the-motorola-atrix-laptop-dock-upside-down/
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      its not so much the 'dual core-ness' of it but the general increase in power.

      ARM says their next CPU design is going to be called the A15 [arstechnica.com], not the A10 as you'd expect. This because, although ARM designs have incremental performance, the next version is so good that they decided to skip A10 through A14 tags.

      The A15 BTW, has speeds upto 2.5Ghz, up to 8 cores, and virtualisation instructions. Although you might need a laptop battery to power the top-end version, the fact that there is a top-end spec suggests g

      • by imgod2u (812837)

        I believe the reason it's called the A15 is that it's a new tier. That is, it won't replace the current A9 (or future revisions, A10 for instance) that is targeted at smartphone-level performance and power.

        The numbers released for the A15 do not fit into a smartphone's power envelope. DMIPS/Watt is significantly lower than that of the A9 and it's going to target leaky, high-speed processes first.

        Eagle (A15) is ARM's push towards netbooks, tablets and notebooks (and possibly servers). Sure, some people may t

  • by samael (12612) * <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:25AM (#34862070) Homepage

    "Runs smoothly" would be a selling point. "Amazing graphics" would be a selling point. "Long battery life" would be a selling point. But the number of bits of silicon inside the phone really isn't going to attract many consumers.

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:33AM (#34862228)
      For the same reason that 2GHz is better than 1.4GHz. The number is bigger, so the PHBs and yuppies will clamour for them. Meanwhile, those of us with an eye for detail will look at things like battery capacity, sound quality, compatibility with existing architectures and applications, and make informed decisions, instead of pawing at the latest shiny-shiny like a kitten with a toy.
    • by Cornelius the Great (555189) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:38AM (#34862280)
      Why not? Multi-core was marketed successfully for PCs, what makes smartphones any different? Tech specs are pretty important to the Android crowd. Besides, now that certain devices [wikipedia.org] will have docks that allow them become netbook and HTPC replacements, people will find uses for that extra core.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by ktappe (747125)

        Why not? Multi-core was marketed successfully for PCs, what makes smartphones any different?

        Several things:

        1) Most users do not find themselves waiting for their phone to accomplish a task whereas most PC users can easily remember waiting for their PC to perform a task.

        2) Almost every phone owner has found themselves running out of battery. Thus battery life is frontmost in the minds of users and Apple can easily come out with a "Double core? Double battery usage. No benefit." campaign to combat this trend.

        • by Cornelius the Great (555189) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:11PM (#34862892)
          1) The same argument was made before dual core made it to consumer PCs. If you build it, they will come.

          In any case, waiting on either PC or phone is usually due to some IO task, not heavy CPU usage. By far, the most waiting I'm going to be doing is when web pages are being loaded.

          Media playback and games are primarily where users will see the most benefit from dual-core in the foreseeable future. Having a heavy webpage with Flash running smoothly doesn't hurt either. :)

          2) Today, chips have very good power-gating. If only one core is being used, only one core is being powered. Also, the power usage increase is logarithmic. For this reason, having a second core doesn't double the TDP of the entire chip.

          Also, most of these dual-core chips add a fraction of die space in return for an extra core. The SOCs already only dedicate a minority of space to the ARM core- the rest is taken up by the GPU, Memory, radio, and other misc controllers.

          And due to die shrinkages with every generation, many dual-core chips will be drawing less power than their single-core counterparts. Case in point: the 3rd generation Snapdragon with dual-Scorpion cores is claimed (at least by Qualcomm) to use less power than the Snapdragons in current smartphones. Going from 65nm to 45nm (28nm expected by end of 2011!) provides that kind of headroom.

          Besides, the biggest user of battery space is usually the screen, then radio (wifi, 3G/4G, bluetooth, etc), then the CPU at a distant third.

          Double core- Double battery usage? Right, whatever.
    • by Lifyre (960576)

      Exactly. the iPhone sells because it provides such an amazingly refined experience. I have yet to meet an android phone that delivers the same experience. Many of them are very nice but when the open source projects like Cyanogen provide a better phone and environment that the manufacturer there is a very large and glaring problem with the android handsets.

      • by awyeah (70462) *

        I think different people define "good experience" differently. For the general crowd here on /., I'd expect "good experience" to mean "I can tinker with it," or "it's FLOSS," etc. And that's fine. People need to buy the devices that will give them the experience that they want.

        Hell, a member of my family recently switched from his iPhone to a BlackBerry Torch. He likes it better. Personally I'm no longer a big fan of BlackBerry, but to each is own.

        (Disclaimer: I use an iPhone and believe it gives me a

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      But the number of bits of silicon inside the phone really isn't going to attract many consumers.

      Two processors for the same price as one ?

    • by SoupGuru (723634)
      That's your opinion and you are entitled to that. I've been disillusioned with the megapixel hype and I'm not sure I agree with you.
  • I think the battery needed for my current single-core processor is big enough already.

    • You're making the assumption that an increase in cores necessitates a decline in battery life. [citation needed]

      It's possible that battery life could slightly improve if the load is spread across cores and hence the CPU takes less time (and juice) to perform certain tasks.

  • to Android. Have any of you ever talked to an iPhone user about the possibility that another phone might even exist, let alone be a better choice than the iPhone?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Krakadoom (1407635)
      I have. I have never tried to talk to an Applevangelist since about their tech habits. Your phone could make coffee, iron shirts, cook dinner and give you a hummer - iFetishists would still tell you about how glorious THEIR device is, because it has a shiny interface.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yes.

      Just yesterday, one of my best friends, a diehard Apple guy, was asking me about my DroidX and I was showing it to him. He has a iPhone with AT&T right now, and with the iPhone coming to Verizon in a couple weeks, he is considering switching not only carriers but also phones. He wanted to know how I like the DroidX and I was showing him everything on it. He was impressed. He especially liked the widgets on the home screen (ie Multitiasking)

      I don't know how impressed he was, of if he was impressed en

    • by 1000101 (584896)
      I'm switching. I currently own an iPhone 3GS which will be promptly handed over to my wife once the Motorola Atrix [engadget.com] becomes available. I actually really like the iPhone, but I don't like Apple. My wife has a MacBook (which I really, really can't stand), so it will be a no-brainer for her to have an iPhone as well. I was actually really close to upgrading my phone to the iPhone 4 due to the screen alone, but now that other manufacturers are releasing comparable resolutions, I feel like I can finally make
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      yes.

      I have. myself in fact. I looked really hard at the Droid II. I really want a real keyboard.

      But it came down to the fact that android just does not have the apps I need. So I stay with Iphone.

    • by awyeah (70462) *

      That's something that I just don't understand (from a psychological standpoint, I guess). I use an iPhone, and I like it a lot. But when it comes time to get a new phone, I'm not just going to automatically get the then-current iPhone model. Every time I've gotten a new phone, I evaluated every carrier available to me and many of the phones available. You've got to make an informed decision.

      Last April when I got this phone and decided to stick with AT&T, I decided it was the best carrier and device

    • by hedwards (940851)
      What's going on there is fairly typical of the in group out group aspect of culture. iPhone users need to feel superior to the users of other brands of phones so they selectively ignore the facts to highlight that they made the right decision. I've seen the same sort of pathetic behavior out of Kindle owners, who introduce features that my Nook has as being Kindle only.

      That's not to say that I don't ever do that, but seeing those iPhone owners practically dry humping their devices makes me wonder why App
  • The number of cores or their speed doesn't matter at the moment. For example look at Nokia. Their phones tend to have much slower CPUs, but because of better software they run just as fast as the latest & greatest from Samsung etc. I think number of cores and speed will only become a selling point once smartphones become our only computers that we just dock to our keyboard/display terminals at home.
    • by ThosLives (686517)

      I agree with this one. That much computing power means it's not a phone but a highly portable computer that happens to have access to a certain specific communications network ("telephony") in addition to the general Internet.

      Calling these devices "phones" is a misnomer, and I think if we are more honest about what the devices actually represent we'll be better off. Mobile "phones" stopped being phones quite some time ago. And I'm not the first one to make this observation by any means.

      • by tepples (727027)

        That much computing power means it's not a phone but a highly portable computer that happens to have access to a certain specific communications network ("telephony") in addition to the general Internet.

        Then why is it so hard to find such "a highly portable computer" without telephony access? All the PDA makers seem to have switched to making only smartphones.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          probably because most of the SoCs come with telephony chipsets baked in. The manufacturer could disable them, but considering the capability is there "for free", they might as well enable it and offer it as an added extra feature.

          You don't have to use it you know, get a emergency-call-only sim (ie a PAYG sim with no credit) and use that.

  • So is it time to ditch your current pocket rocket?

    So Jimmy Johnson is now creating a line of Extendz-branded Android phones?

  • What are the two biggest complaints with smart-phones? Download speeds and battery life. Download speeds are not processor restricted. Battery life, however, would seem to suffer with dual core.

    Smartphones need dual core to compete with pads and netbooks. However, they, being larger devices, can pack more batteries inside. What good will the fastest smartphone be if you have to recharge it every hour?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Battery life, however, would seem to suffer with dual core.

      My desktop system has a three-core processor that uses less power than many single core processors which do less work than one of its cores, all of which (AFAIK) are older than it is. These are new processors. Why do you imagine they will necessarily consume more power?

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        Battery life, however, would seem to suffer with dual core.

        My desktop system has a three-core processor that uses less power than many single core processors which do less work than one of its cores, all of which (AFAIK) are older than it is. These are new processors. Why do you imagine they will necessarily consume more power?

        More transistors = more power use. Obviously, there are many things that impact power usage of a CPU and low power variants are readily available. However, if those same techniques that are used to make dual core processors use less power are applied to single core processors, then the single core processor will use less power. It's simple math. Each transistor requires x amount of power. Dual cores, while having less transistors than two separate processors, still have more than the equivalent single

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          More transistors = more power use.

          You have no idea what you are talking about. In most of the latest multicore processors, portions of cores can be turned off when not in use where this was not possible before, and even whole cores can be shut off. More transistors of the same feature size and composition in use == more power use. In any other situation there's a lot more to be considered than what you're thinking about. The end result is often lower power consumption.

          There's even yet another factor, which is that given power-saving techniq

    • ARM is notorious for power management. Let's wait for the benchmarks, on real devices, before concluding that multi-core is a significant drain on battery life.

      Further, the CortexA9 is a revision ahead of the A8. So potentially it brings improved architectural efficiencies.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        ARM is notorious for power management. Let's wait for the benchmarks, on real devices, before concluding that multi-core is a significant drain on battery life.

        Further, the CortexA9 is a revision ahead of the A8. So potentially it brings improved architectural efficiencies.

        Mathematically, all things being equal, multi-core must use more energy, because it has more transistors and each transistor requires some discreet amount of power.

        Think of it as the difference between a four cylinder vehicle and an eight cylinder. An eight cylinder, by having a larger displacement uses more fuel.

        All sorts of things can be done to make an eight cylinder engine more fuel efficient, however if these same things are applied to the four cylinder, then it becomes more efficient, too (thus the a

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @11:59AM (#34862644)
    Dual core with a dual battery would be nice
  • Phones have always been dual core, at least recently. The G1, for example, had (at least) two ARM cores. The only problem was, you couldn't actually run anything on the baseband processor "for wireless security reasons" and so that calls were smooth. But it was sitting idle most of the time. If anyone hacked the radio image they could probably have produced dual-core capability.
    • by rickb928 (945187)

      So you're telling me my 486DX-2/66 was dual-core because it had a graphics processor on the board?

      Not so much.

      • No, your graphics processor was not another 486 core. But the baseband proc on most modern phones is a locked ARM core that is perfectly capable of running non-baseband code if it were to be unlocked. May not be a good idea to mess with the radio firmware, but the point is most phones already have more than one core. (Some probably have other embedded ARM cores that are not as easy to unlock or get to as the baseband, such as in the phone's GPU, like the 486 example you give -- but the baseband is not to
        • by rickb928 (945187)

          Um, if its locked, it's closed. Knowing how things work just a little, unlocking the radio core is not a good idea, even if it seems unused. Incoming calls do not respect threading.

  • Is going to sneak into my house and install the new CPU? I guess that's cool, but kind of creepy.

  • Of all the things that I wanted my Droid to do that it couldn't, dual-core multitasking wasn't one of them.

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