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Google Handhelds Upgrades Hardware

Honeycomb To Require Dual-Core Processor 177

Posted by timothy
from the expand-the-requirements dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "According to managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, Google's new Android Honeycomb tablet OS will require a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor to run properly. That means that many existing Android tablets will not be upgradeable to Honeycomb, as they lack the processor necessary to meet the spec. Currently, Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform is the only chipset in products on the market to include a Cortex-A9, although other manufacturers have said they're moving to the new processor architecture for 2011 products."
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Honeycomb To Require Dual-Core Processor

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  • by Kitanin (7884) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @10:59PM (#34761710) Homepage
    Honeycomb's big, yeah yeah yeah, it's not small, no no no?
  • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:04PM (#34761752) Homepage Journal

    How many cores will Total require? Probably just 1 right?

  • Be like BeOS, use pervasive multithreading, and those with extra CPUs win, no loss for the older ones. Why REQUIRE it?

  • Nexus S (Score:5, Insightful)

    by teh31337one (1590023) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:08PM (#34761786)
    So Google are going to leave their shiny new baby on gingerbread? Yeah... no.
    • Re:Nexus S (Score:5, Informative)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:33PM (#34761936) Homepage Journal

      Where have you seen any announcement that Honeycomb will run on any phones? Everything we've heard is that Honeycomb will have a new interface specifically for tablets.

      • Tablet optimised != tablet specific.
        • But it isn't a given either that it will run on phones. They mentioned that there will be a new API for developing apps that can run on either, but there might be a new phone version coming out after Honeycomb that includes these improvements.

          • by exomondo (1725132)

            But it isn't a given either that it will run on phones.

            Just like how iOS has tablet and phone versions.

      • Well, Andy Rubin said it. For what that's worth. See here [youtube.com] starting around 6:00.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        android 2.3 hold within it flags for larger screens then 2.2 and earlier had. This allows a app to load custom graphics and such for larger resolutions and screen dimensions, adapting to the larger surface area in the process.

        Hell, there is a demo out there where webos adapts the interface of the email app as the screen size (browser window, as they where using chrome to demo it) changed. Basically it went from a single pane to a 3 pane as the available space got wider.

        I can see something similar be done in

      • by Dr. Spork (142693)
        If Honeycomb were a tablet-only fork of Android, I don't think it would have been given a version name of "2.4" - i.e., the successor of 2.3, which we have on our phones. If it weren't a phone operating system, but a first release of a tablet-only system, it would have a different version number.
  • Rumour (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArtDent (83554) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:10PM (#34761792)

    And wasn't it an equally "reliable" source within an OEM that told us about minimum hardware requirements for Gingerbread? What ever happened with that again?

    Oh yeah, it was total bull.

  • I'm not sure if that's in the best interest of tablet devices, which are generally used for basic content consumption (with light data input) or casual gaming.

    It's not like you can swap out a motherboard/CPU/RAM and upgrade it incrementally (like the DIY PC crowd); the end user will constantly have to buy a whole new tablet in order to stay current with the next generation touch-OS.

    Maybe that's the plan after all.. since it would be in the manufaturer's interest to make all of them all final devic
  • Probably not true (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The source for this is a tablet maker claiming that its competitors' tablets won't be fast enough. So there's an obvious conflict of interest. And anyways, requiring a dual core processor doesn't make any sense; Google isn't stupid, they won't release something that's too slow for the majority of hardware already shipped.

    • by EEPROMS (889169)
      they won't release something that's too slow for the majority of hardware already shipped

      As far as I know Google hasnt given any tablets a thumbs up so from Googles standpoint there is no hardware and what is available is a just a big phone.
      • This one [samsung.com] is one that that gets to use the Android marketplace. [android.com]
        • by EEPROMS (889169)
          To be able to use the market you just need an android device with a cellphone data connection, doesn't means google approve of the galaxy tab as being a suitable tablet device (in fact Google have stated that they do not consider the Galaxy Tab as being a tablet but a big phone).
  • by markdavis (642305) on Tuesday January 04, 2011 @11:46PM (#34762016)

    This is already been discussed at length on androidcentral. The consensus is that this stupid rumor is false. It makes absolutely no sense to require any particular number of cores to run Android.

    Who is writing this stuff and what is their motive???

    • This is already been discussed at length on androidcentral. The consensus is that this stupid rumor is false. It makes absolutely no sense to require any particular number of cores to run Android.

      Who is writing this stuff and what is their motive???

      You do realize that androidcentral is not an official google site but rather one run by android fanboys right? I would not consider consensus at a fanboy site to be worth much.

      Given the anecdotal evidence of the poor performance of the UI in current android version from the Dalvik VM when garbage collection occurs, I am not surprised by this rumour at all.

      See:

      http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=11/01/04/1756245 [slashdot.org]

      Google needs to work on providing a HAL for graphics acceleration and fix the GC strategy of D

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      The consensus is that this stupid rumor is false. It makes absolutely no sense to require any particular number of cores to run Android.

      Or perhaps they are requiring a Cortex A9 instruction set and don't think the 'low power ... into cost sensitive devices' option would suffice?

  • OK, so maybe they will require a dual processor to run Honeycomb on a tablet device. I get that. In order for tablets to compete against iPad they must be smooth, super responsive and sharp looking. The extra processing power will help with that. I get it.

    Now, lets think about the phone side of the fence. The current crop of 1Ghz processor equipped phones are pretty snappy and sharp. I have a Galaxy S phone, and although I had concerns at first about the battery performance, I don't now. But what a

    • So, the question I have, is: Would moving to a dual processor negatively affect the batter life of a cellphone?

      Dual cores will likely increase the battery life since one core can be underclocked or disabled when appropriate (saves battery life).

      However, I have no idea how multi-core hardware will affect batter... Hmmm, are you planing a fast food themed competitor to "Will it Blend?"

      • That doesn't make sense. A single core.. guess what.. can be underclocked as well, and there's no second core to turn off, as it doesn't exists. In a perfect (and very simplified) world a single core CPU would use as much or less power than a multi-core of equal technology level.

        However, ARM 9 multi-core CPUs are more power efficient - this means they are "faster" while using less energy than the ARM 8 generation (single core). So in practice, battery life depends on the implementation of the CPU, and ARM 9

  • Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform is the only chipset in products on the market to include a Cortex-A9

    Really? Because I'm fairly sure that the PandaBoard is shipping now (and has been for a little while) and includes a TI OMAP4430, a SoC that contains a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 at 1GHz, a PowerVR SGX530 GPU, and a few other things. I've not seen anything actually shipping that includes Tegra 2, although it's been coming Real Soon Now for a year or so.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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