Intel Criticizes Android Multi-Core Utilization, Says Intel Chips Can Run 95 Percent of Android Apps
Intel has spoken out against other System-on-a-Chip (SoC) vendors saying that they have failed to fully tweak Android to make use of as much power as multiple core processors can offer.
The main contention of Intel is that the thread scheduler of Android is still not ready for multi-core SoCs. And it’s blaming chip vendors like Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Samsung as not doing enough to optimize Android for multi-core SoCs.
The criticism may be self-serving for Intel but someone really needs to look into this. Intel is launching its single-core Medfield Atom processor for Android devices and it’s going against dual-core and quad-core chips based on ARM architecture.
What good are multiple cores when they are not run as efficiently and as effectively as they should be? Furthermore, what good are multiple cores when getting a lot of computing power negatively affects power consumption to a great extent, such that it becomes unreasonable?
The criticism was voiced by Intel Mobile and Communications Group General Manager Mike Bell to the British publication The Inquirer. He said:
“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 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.”
“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.”
Meanwhile, Intel also told The Inquirer that Medfield can run 95 percent of all the apps on Android. In a separate report, Intel told the publication earlier that 70 percent of Android apps can be powered by the Intel Medfield Atom chips. According to them, this figure is for apps that use the Android Native Development Kit (Android NDK) can be powered by Intel chips but that Intel chips can power 95 percent of Android apps that use the Android SDK and run on the Dalvik Java virtual machine. The crux is that fewer apps run on the Android NDK. That’s why Intel says that its chips can power 95 percent of Android apps.
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