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Mobile Processors...why are they moving to Quadcores, and not higher Dualcore clocks?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Everyone knows that there aren't many applications on smartphones these days that can utilize a 4 Cores, so the only logical explanation is that the chip makers know that applications WILL utilize this technology in the near future....right?

Why haven't we seen any 2GHz dualcores in some phones then?
    
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post #2 of 6
Power usage increase proportional to frequency^2. This means lower frequency processors use much less power than high frequency processors. It has much less to do with expected software or application usage (applications almost always follow hardware; not the other way around) than it does power consumption.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick2253 View Post

Power usage increase proportional to frequency^2. This means lower frequency processors use much less power than high frequency processors. It has much less to do with expected software or application usage (applications almost always follow hardware; not the other way around) than it does power consumption.

I agree with the battery issue, but there are phones like the RAZR MAXX that kill in battery life, and extended batteries are just as good sometimes. Makes you wonder if these companies are in cahoots with Power companies. hahaha, just kidding. But seriously, the technology is there to have 4000mA batteries, instead of these 1500-2000mA ones you see all the time.

Thanks for the heads up about apps following hardware, I didn't know that.
    
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caz View Post

I agree with the battery issue, but there are phones like the RAZR MAXX that kill in battery life, and extended batteries are just as good sometimes. Makes you wonder if these companies are in cahoots with Power companies. hahaha, just kidding. But seriously, the technology is there to have 4000mA batteries, instead of these 1500-2000mA ones you see all the time.
This is a cost and weight thing. Battery are fricking expensive, and high density energy storage is very expensive. The fact that technology exists to have 4000mAh batteries does not mean that those batteries are either light or inexpensive. An increase from 2000mAh to 4000mAh would probably increase the weight of your phone by 25% and/or double its cost.
Quote:
Thanks for the heads up about apps following hardware, I didn't know that.
Think about. There was no such thing as a dual-core capable app until dual-core processors were on the market. Sometimes, you see development as a partnership between software and hardware manufacturers (look at DX10 and DX11), but without the push on the hardware side, those improvements would never happen. Software doesn't directly drive hardware improvements. I mean, look at consoles. Games on consoles today are using the same hardware that games on consoles used a few years ago (we are in the same generation after all). However, these same games have rapidly increasing PC specs. Part of that is because they are able to do things better now because of more advanced PC hardware, but at the same time, part of it is because the software developers don't have to work as hard to fit their game into lesser specs, so they get lazy and don't optimize. Now, don't get me wrong, because it's very much a partnership between software and hardware (I mean, hardware would be useless without it), but improvements in hardware are more because of competition between hardware manufacturers to stay on the cutting edge than hardware manufacturers trying to add value through software. Software development rapidly outpaces hardware development, but they are really two separate markets.
post #5 of 6
It's not just about battery.... Not only does power consumption increase exponentially... heat does as well. Cooling a 3-5w chip in smartphone is HARD.

Increasing cores is near linear increase in power consumption and heat.
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

It's not just about battery.... Not only does power consumption increase exponentially... heat does as well. Cooling a 3-5w chip in smartphone is HARD.
Increasing cores is near linear increase in power consumption and heat.

Yup, good point. As a side note, isn't it amazing that right now we can easily play Grand Theft Auto 3 on our wimpy smartphones phones? I mean, to play this game 10 years ago, you need a huge 3lb console that needed to be actively cooled, needed 50x the power, and read it from a DVD.

But in terms of pure performance, I'm really interested in seeing Krait. Quad-core, I feel, is a little much, apps can hardly utilize dual core. You'll see much better results from today's apps using a powerful dual-core SoC like Krait opposed to these medium speed quads. I think anandtech showed that Krait wiped the floor with tegra 3 in almost every test.
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