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Qualcomm Says Eight-Core Processors Are Dumb 526

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-hates-eight-cylinder-engines-and-eight-year-olds dept.
itwbennett writes "Following rival MediaTek's announcement of plans to release an eight-core processor in the fourth quarter, Qualcomm has declared eight-core processors 'dumb'. 'You can't take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari. It just doesn't make sense,' Qualcomm's senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher said, according to a transcript of his comments to Taiwan media provided on Friday. Asked whether Qualcomm would one day launch its own octa-core processor, Chandrasekher said, 'We don't do dumb things.'"
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Qualcomm Says Eight-Core Processors Are Dumb

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  • by Nimey (114278) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:03PM (#44458063) Homepage Journal

    Fuck everything, we're doing five blades.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades,11056/ [theonion.com] ...and then someone made one with five blades, and it's better enough that people will buy it.

    • by Golddess (1361003) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:15PM (#44458243)
      Reminds me of a TV commercial from a while back, put out by one razor blade company, to make fun of another razor blade company for continually adding additional blades. I seem to recall that not long after those ads started airing, they disappeared, and the first company began adding additional blades as well.
    • by kromozone (817261)
      Apparently we're up to six blades now; http://www.amazon.com/Dorco-Plus-Blade-System-Trimmer/dp/B008O82O7C [amazon.com]
    • by Dracos (107777) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:39PM (#44458585)

      More metal blades doesn't make a better razor after 2 or 3. After that, the manufacturers are just one-upping each other to keep the marketing going.

      I'd gladly pay much more for a razor with only two ceramic blades. But that'll never happen, because metal razor blades are by definition planned obsolescence.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jonfr (888673)

      The Onion is behind a paywall. It is like a censorship wall, but you have to pay for it too see the useless junk behind it. For that reason, The Onion can jump off a next digital cliff they find for all I care.

    • by HermMunster (972336) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:43PM (#44458645)

      I remember when 2 cores was considered dumb or even 2 cpus with their own dedicated ram. Those were specialty devices. I remember when 12 or 16mhz was fast. Who would need that speed? I remember when 32bit was unheard of, for that matter 16bit. No one would need that much power. And then hyperthreading, and multitasking and multithreading (well maybe we still haven't done much with that).

      The fact is that necessity is the mother of invention.

      We will also fill the void. I am not impressed with this Qualcomm exec's views. You can't take 4 cores and make a Corvette either, however we still have 4 cores in our phones and desktops. Think of Intel's multi-pentium core processor that beat the pants off anything anyone had produced to date. That had a very large number of cores. It's all in how you design and implement them. I understand the lessening return, however, if we had held that view the whole computer industry would have stagnated and dried up.

      • by Tridus (79566) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:56PM (#44458835) Homepage

        The problem is that workloads people regularly do simply don't use 8 cores. We've had this problem on PCs for a while, and it's one of the reasons the market is shrinking so fast. Once you have a dual core machine, more cores don't do anything for you given that most of your work is single threaded. There's nothing more annoying than waiting for something or seeing lag in a game with an i7 that never gets over 25% utilization (or 13% if you have hyperthreading enabled).

        He's not wrong. An eight core phone serves no purpose right now.

        • I'll say it (Score:5, Informative)

          by fyngyrz (762201) on Friday August 02, 2013 @01:03PM (#44458943) Homepage Journal

          You know what multiple cores are great for, that a very large segment of the population does? Image processing. A very large subset of things you can do to images responds very well to slicing an image into [#ofCores] slices, and then whacking away at them in [#ofCores] parallel.

          I write SDR software, that kind of programming can really benefit from multicore hardware too. At least, the way I write it, it does.

          Anyway, I think ol Qualcomm is lacking a certain basic understanding of what multicore architecture brings to the table. Er, phone. Desktop. Tablet. Whatever.

          But that's ok. Manufacturers that remain mired in the past fall to their competitors and so self-select themselves out of the game.

          • Re:I'll say it (Score:4, Informative)

            by Andy Dodd (701) <.ude.llenroc. .ta. .7dta.> on Friday August 02, 2013 @01:28PM (#44459273) Homepage

            Most of the tasks in this category that you might see running on a phone are executing on dedicated hardware within the SoC.

            Qualcomm's Hexagon DSPs are pretty neat, and a typical Qcom chip has a few - they just never market them as extra cores, but they ARE there.

            Remember, Qualcomm's core market are phones and tablets, and that is the context in which their comments regarding MTK's octa-A9 should be taken.

            Also keep in mind that Qualcomm is coming off of a nice rosy year where their dual Krait SoCs were routinely smoking quad-A9s on typical smartphone/tablet workloads.

            Another thing to keep in mind is that, so far, nearly all multicore ARM systems suffer in terms of power management when more than one CPU is lit up - in many cases, many of the deeper idle modes become unavailable if more than one core is active. This is even true on Qualcomm's chips, but at least they can clock each core asynchronously. All of MTK's chips so far are synchronously clocked, which means that if additional cores are lit up, they run at the same speed as the others, often with crippled cpuidle.

            • Re:I'll say it (Score:4, Interesting)

              by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday August 02, 2013 @02:07PM (#44459669) Homepage
              Exactly, as much as things can be sped up by using multicore technology, they can be sped up even more (while using less power) by implementing them in hardware. It's the reason the Raspberry Pi can play BluRay quality video but can't show a Linux Desktop without a whole lot of lag. They'd be much better off adding more specialized processors to deal with things that are common on phones than to use generic processors that just suck up a lot of power without speeding things up significantly anyway.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sjames (1099)

            Qualcom produces SOCs for cellphones. perhaps one day we will want to do image processing on a cell phone, but I don't think that today is the day.

          • Re:I'll say it (Score:5, Informative)

            by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Friday August 02, 2013 @02:39PM (#44460107)

            Anyway, I think ol Qualcomm is lacking a certain basic understanding of what multicore architecture brings to the table. Er, phone. Desktop. Tablet. Whatever.

            But that's ok. Manufacturers that remain mired in the past fall to their competitors and so self-select themselves out of the game.

            Except Qualcomm has a point.

            An 8 core SoC has 4 powerful A15-ish cores, and 4 power efficient A7-ish cores. Now, ARM's big.LITTLE allows for OS awareness of all 8 cores and their asymmetry, or you can treat it as a 4-core system and perform a direct switch.

            The reason for this is the A15 is a power hog. It's fast, but it turns energy into heat very quickly. The A7 is slower, but turns less energy into heat. When you're gaming, you want the big beefy cores to give you maximum FPS goodness or whatever, then when you're back to listening ot MP3s, switch it for the power sippers.

            Now, Qualcomm has skin in the game in that their 4 core Kraits are able to do DVFS on each individual core (so each core runs as fast as it needs to be, and no faster), which means it doesn't need a secondary batch of slower processors because it can run the main ones slower and more power efficiently..

            Of course, what 8-core purveyors DON'T mention is you cannot run all 4 A15 cores for more than a few minutes at a time - you'll destroy the SoC because it overheats. That's how bad the A15s are. If you can use 2 A15s and keep the other 2 idle, for the most pare, you can do this forever. But put some load in and you'll need to throttle the A15s - 100-100-50-50% at first, and if temperatures still aren't cooling, start throttling the slower ones even more, turning them off if need be.

            And in phones there's no space for the heatsink and fan, and often there's a PoP memory on top, so you can't even stick a heatsink on if you wanted.

            Thermal management is extremely important on these octacores. especially as the system can't be cooled traditionally.

            Until Qualcomm makes a server chip, they do have a point - what's the point of quad or octacore if you're not able to keep them running at full load because the hardware is limiting the speed?

            Of course, anyone will know that benchmarks only run for a few minutes at a time. Aggressive core management also helps (switching to A7s as much as possible to keep the chip cooler).

        • I'm on an 8 core (well 4 but with hyperthreading) and I'm running my typical workload and my load average is over 8.

          Arithmetic implies that I could make use of a 16 core system today.

          No idea what the load average is on a crappy tablet/phone under a typical use case (games? browser?). But if ARM ever reaches into the realm of business workstations, it will want to have more than 4 cores.

        • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday August 02, 2013 @01:37PM (#44459361)

          The problem is that workloads people regularly do simply don't use 8 cores.

          The problem is people who don't do much on their computers who then claim that more computing power isn't necessary because nobody does much on their computers.

          I work in an environment where modelers are using quad-chip hex-core systems and could easily use more in a heartbeat. Load averages of greater than 100 on a regular basis. Small input, medium output, and lotsa lotsa CPU time.

          Where did you get the idea that everyone is expected to buy an 8 core system and so 8 core systems aren't justified because some people don't need them?

          • by fluffy99 (870997)

            The problem is that workloads people regularly do simply don't use 8 cores.

            The problem is people who don't do much on their computers who then claim that more computing power isn't necessary because nobody does much on their computers.

            I work in an environment where modelers are using quad-chip hex-core systems and could easily use more in a heartbeat. Load averages of greater than 100 on a regular basis. Small input, medium output, and lotsa lotsa CPU time.

            Where did you get the idea that everyone is expected to buy an 8 core system and so 8 core systems aren't justified because some people don't need them?

            Okay, so you'd pointed out that there is a high-end workstation market that benefits from multiple cores. How does this translate into needing them in a phone where multiple threads or parallel processing are not the normal? The other consideration is that multiple cores can be less efficient that fewer cores that total the same flops rating. In that respect Qualcom is absolutely right that battery life is a very important consideration.

  • qualcomm is right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xicor (2738029) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:06PM (#44458085)
    eight core processors are dumb. though not for the reason he gave. they are dumb because nothing supports 8 cores, so 99% of the time, the extra 2-6 cores are totally wasted. if the software would catch up to the hard ware, we might see more use in 8+ cores
    • by PhxBlue (562201) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:10PM (#44458157) Homepage Journal
      And I suppose 640k is enough for anybody, too?
      • Sure it forces you to think.

      • by HermMunster (972336) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:46PM (#44458701)

        It is the fallacy behind the Pi. I have 4 of them and use them for everything. However I'm not interested in taking significantly limited resources and programming against that in an effort to build my skills. I want the power. So a quad core Pi with SATA, Wifi, 2-4 GB of RAM, using just 5 watts of power, and much more, for $20.00 is just fine by me. I'd use that too. So would every other developer. I'm sure current developers hate the limitations of some of the devices out there.

    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:13PM (#44458209) Homepage Journal
      The reason he gave was one step ahead of that: even if you get apps that can use all eight cores, it's going to be murder on battery life, and most of the cost will be wasted (because most apps won't be using all that core power still.)
      • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:24PM (#44458399) Journal

        I would think that a highly multithreaded app combined with a highly parallel CPU would actually be more power efficient, as you're doing the same work in less clocks.

        Granted, all tasks cannot be highly multithreaded, but that particular street goes both ways.

        • Re:qualcomm is right (Score:5, Informative)

          by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:38PM (#44458579) Homepage Journal
          I'm somewhat inclined to agree, actually! Samsung's S4 uses different cores running at different clock speeds for different tasks, and is obviously about improving power utilization. Given that, it really just looks like Qualcomm is trying to spin their business decision (to not do eight-core chips, probably because they don't think they can compete) to their investors as cost-saving for their customers. I didn't get the impression that power consumption was the bigger concern. But, hey, maybe that's their niche.
        • Re:qualcomm is right (Score:5, Interesting)

          by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:49PM (#44458743)

          Not so sure about that. Parallel code tends to have plenty of overhead even after optimization, e.g. expecting approx. 2.5 times speed increase from single-core when running on 4 cores is more realistic than a 4 times increase. Data must be shuffled around, OS threads prepared, contexts are switched, etc.

          • by Andy Dodd (701)

            Hotplugging overhead on most current ARM chips is murder, and also, many of the nicest power management features of ARM chips don't work well when more than one core is active (I think it's related somewhat to all of Linus' rants about braindead cache architectures). Interestingly, Qualcomm is the only SoC manufacturer that has any decent mitigation for this limitation (asynchronous clocking of each core, which mostly makes up for the fact that cpuidle goes to shit when more than one core is lit.)

        • Re:qualcomm is right (Score:5, Interesting)

          by a1cypher (619776) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:49PM (#44458745) Homepage

          Parallelization does introduce it's own overhead. Some problems can be made to run parallel very easily without much effort. For example, lets say you have an unordered database of names and you want to count how many letter "A"s are in each name. You can very easily divide the database into eight equal parts and send it off to eight cores for processing and they will happily churn away until you have your answer with almost no additional overhead.

          However, different problems cant be as easily parallelized. For example, lets say you take the same database of names and you want to sort it alphabetically. You can send each chunk of the database off to be sorted on each core, but now you have 8 pieces of the database that are all sorted and need to be merged back into the original list. This extra work of merging and communicating becomes the overhead.

          This is a very simple example, but for many problems the speed gained by parallelization is reduced for every new thread. So you might get an almost 50% speedup by adding a second core, but the third core will give you maybe only 20% speedup, and the fourth 15%, etc...

          And as mentioned by others, parallelization is almost always done to improve performance, not efficiency. It would be more power efficient for the one core to do the job if you are measuring efficiency by something like cycles per watt. This doesnt make much sense in a mobile device whose paramount concern is to run a long time on a battery.

          • multithreaded sorts (Score:5, Interesting)

            by fyngyrz (762201) on Friday August 02, 2013 @01:14PM (#44459067) Homepage Journal

            For example, lets say you take the same database of names and you want to sort it alphabetically. You can send each chunk of the database off to be sorted on each core, but now you have 8 pieces of the database that are all sorted and need to be merged back into the original list. This extra work of merging and communicating becomes the overhead.

            Nah, you're just doing it wrong. Take list of names, then mark as, or make sublists, the main list with [#ofThreads] of alphabet, which involves no more than looking at the 1st character and using that to target a list - a jump table of [alphabet] size would allow doing this in one instruction. There's a need to make sublists anyway, so creating them in a "deal the deck" way incurs no significant overhead. Hand off to multithread sort, result comes back in already completely in order, just link the new list ends in your [#ofTHreads] order and you're done.

            There are certainly hard-to-parallelize problems, but alphabetizing a list isn't one of them.

            • by a1cypher (619776)

              I never meant to imply that sorting a list is a hard problem to parallelize. I was just demonstrating that some problems will introduce overhead for interprocess/inter-thread communication.

              A better example might be simulating heat transfer inside of an oven with some stuff inside. You can divide up the volume of space into N equal chunks, but at each iteration the processes must communicate their boundaries to neighbouring chunks. The smaller you make the chunks (ie the more processes) then the more o

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        well, that's if you're sticking it in a phone and not something else..

        btw a ferrari engine is pointless in a groceries getter car as well, horrible fuel economy and most drivers would never redline it anyways.

      • Instead of slimming down a phone as you reduce component size add more battery. And find a way to better manage battery use. And, make use of those battery technologies we hear so much about on Reddit.com. Seriously I hear about so many battery technologies that would overcome their limitations it's sick thinking about them not being available NOW.

      • Re:qualcomm is right (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kimvette (919543) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:49PM (#44458737) Homepage Journal

        I would think that an eight core processor might make sense for a high end smartphone; you could have four cores with scalable clock speed for high performance computing (gaming, video editing, etc.) and switch to four low-power cores on the fly, which will still multitask very well but will conserve power. If only any smartphone manufacturer [samsung.com] would introduce such a beast. [wikipedia.org]

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Nothing?

      So databases don't exist? Scientific applications don't exist?

      Lots and lots of ARM64 cores will be a big deal in the server room one day.

      • Especially on I/O bound applications... When I've read articles on some of the multi-core arm systems being worked on, my natural thought is they would pair well with an application platform that does async operations to database servers, and other backend systems.. fielding lots of users.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Low utilization isn't a problem so long as the extra resources don't cost much to make and don't draw significant power unless they are needed. Parallel processing definitely has valid uses on a phone; the only question is whether additional general-purpose cores can beat out more special-purpose units that operate in parallel. The new Moto-X has a "natural language processor", a "contextual computing processor", and it goes without saying that it has a GPU of some sort. So what's better, a mainly-seria
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're just missing vision. Imagine Ubuntu Phone on an 8 core processor, you could have it run virtual machines and seamlessly switch between Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, IOS... who doesn't want that?

      Plus you'd still have enough oomph to run a torrent server, a tor node or just use your phone to mine some bitcoins.

      • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:26PM (#44458425) Journal

        You're just missing vision. Imagine Ubuntu Phone on an 8 core processor, you could have it run virtual machines and seamlessly switch between Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, IOS... who doesn't want that?

        Plus you'd still have enough oomph to run a torrent server, a tor node or just use your phone to mine some bitcoins.

        And your phone will be out of battery life by the time you unplug it and show up to work

      • by iggymanz (596061)

        I want my phone to take calls and sms messages, and to wake me up with alarm. How many cores do I need for that? a fucking phone doesn't need 8 cores

    • Usually with multi-Core. you can expect to run 8 things at once at full speed. Writing code for parallel processors takes some fore though. Most of the time we just write stuff that follow normal top down. 8 Core Phones work if you have 8 Apps that need to run in real time.

      However the trend to more cores is due to the size of the chip getting smaller, but not the performance per chip.

    • On a phone yes.

      On a server no. I am surprised ARMS have not been in the server room yet as power consumption is the biggest cost and where I/O in SQL latency is the bottleneck and not cpu performance.

      The more cores the more virtualization can be had and more threads and processes can be thrown on it.

      • There are a few companies offering ARM systems for the server room.. unfortunately cost/performance wise they're so much more than x86 it doesn't come close to offsetting the power savings compared to a 4socket AMD or Intel server.
    • by TheLink (130905)

      8 core general processing CPUs on a phone are dumb for now given the power consumption and battery limits.

      If you have 8 processes running 100% max, it's likely something is wrong somewhere - you either want to kill the processes (and save battery life) or you should be running the workload on a PC/laptop.

      Maybe in the future we would have wearable computers that continuously do video capture, video compression and image+audio recognition (includes 3D location and separation of audio items[1] and 3D visual ma

    • If 8-core procs are dumb, then Intel, AMD, and Nvidia must be absolutely fucking retarded to make products with hundreds of cores in them.

      Just because software doesn't use it right now, it doesn't mean that software won't use it soon.

    • by Bomarc (306716)

      eight core processors are dumb. though not for the reason he gave. they are dumb because nothing supports 8 cores, so 99% of the time, the extra 2-6 cores are totally wasted. if the software would catch up to the hard ware, we might see more use in 8+ cores

      Ever open Task Manager (in windows)? There are other things going on in every OS besides just the application you are running.
      Ever run more than one application?

      Short sided people - are not (still?) not using - or seeing, or bothering to code for multi-core systems.

    • by sribe (304414)

      eight core processors are dumb. though not for the reason he gave. they are dumb because nothing supports 8 cores, so 99% of the time, the extra 2-6 cores are totally wasted. if the software would catch up to the hard ware, we might see more use in 8+ cores

      Uhhmmm. Image & video processing libraries? You know, the ones used by camera apps, and video chat apps.

      Uhhmmm. Rendering libraries? You know, the ones used by games.

      Uhhmmm. Speech recognition? Speech Synthesis?

    • Qualcomm is likely referring to Samsung's octo core "big.LITTLE" SoCs. These chips have 4 performance cores and 4 power sipping cores. Software switches between performance and power saving modes. These chips make sense anywhere quad core makes sense AND they can be a little more power efficient.

      This 4+4 strategy is basically the next iteration of power saving through dark silicon. Transistors are cheap so use piles of them but only power on the ones necessary at the time. Having 4 power saving cores s

  • But, but, i thought it is by design, to have the THUMB doing the DUMB things? Why the redirection? Why not just doing the DUMB without the THUMB!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    another soon to be famous quote

  • No, but if you hook them up right you could end up with an 8 cylinder lawn mower..
  • cut the rug (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If I tie 8 lawn mower engines together, can I belt up the blades to cut the lawns on each of the 8 motors as well? That would allow for a very wide cut of a large lawn. I think it all depends on the problem set, and how you solve it.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      if you do it you'll have to put them in two rows so that routes they go over overlap.

      otherwise you'll look stupid after your first run with them on the field :(

      qualcomm is being a bit stupid with analogies though. if you put the cylinders on the same _block_ you would have an 8 cylinder briggs&stratton - AND THAT WOULD FUCKING ROCK! would be rather pointless in a push arrangement lawnmower though, unless you like running like the proverbial wind.

      • would be rather pointless in a push arrangement lawnmower though, unless you like running like the proverbial wind.

        ... or you had 16 foot mowing blades

    • by maz2331 (1104901)

      Sure, since grass cutting is an entirely parallelizeable problem and the cutting of each blade isn't dependent on any other blade. Now, let's assume that you have 16 lawns to cut. Would it be faster to make one monster 8-wide mower that can cut each in three passes then move to the next lawn, or would it be faster to send one mower to each and cut them each in parallel with 24-passes? Remember, there is overhead involved in the move from one lawn to the next.

      More cores only helps when you are solving a p

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:08PM (#44458129)

    ...but every time some company says something is dumb, this usually means one of three things:

    1) Our competitor has too many patents so we can't make it
    2) We can't reach the quality/price of our competitor or
    3) Not the product is too dumb, we're just too dumb to produce it.

  • VM (Score:5, Funny)

    by Taibhsear (1286214) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:09PM (#44458145)

    And my virtual machines say, "Shut your pie hole, Chandrasekher."

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:11PM (#44458175) Journal

    Aug __, 201_

    Qualcomm's senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher was on hand for the unveiling of their new 8 core processor. Calling it a masterpiece of engineering, Chandrasekher compared it to a Ferrari, and called single core processors dumb. "Why drive around on a lawnmower when you could ride an 8 cylinder Ferrari? That's dumb." When asked if they would be continuing to sell single core processors, he replied "We don't do dumb things."

  • Is she eight times the mother of a woman with one kid?

  • by Crash McBang (551190) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:13PM (#44458213)
    If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Too bad cray was wrong. Go into any server room and see.

  • most people aren't going to use 8 cores, right now. For datacenter purposes, yes 8+ is needed, but your average user isn't running software that can make use of all 8 cores. Hell, I am an avid gamer and software developer and almost nothing I do uses up the 4 cores I have.
  • You can't take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari.

    If Ferrari is the one doing it then yes they can claim that for whatever that gets them. And you certainly can join engines together to make a larger one. A W-16 is basically just two V-8s lashed together.

    Asked whether Qualcomm would one day launch its own octa-core processor, Chandrasekher said, 'We don't do dumb things.'"

    Maybe not but he clearly says dumb things.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:22PM (#44458361) Homepage

    Software that's single-threaded, no it doesn't benefit from more cores. But modern heavily-multi-threaded software can benefit. More cores means more threads can execute simultaneously, and if the workload's heavily parallelized you can get it done quicker. No, you can't get a supercar engine from 8 lawnmower engines. But if I have a truckload of boxes to move into a warehouse, it'll go twice as fast with 8 normal guys who can carry 1 box per trip each than with 1 really strong guy who can carry 4 boxes per trip. And when you consider that with CPUs the really strong guy isn't 4x as strong as the normal guys, he's more like maybe 50% stronger, the performance improvement for the 8 guys is even better. Assuming of course that you've got individual boxes to move. If they're all packed up inside a shipping container and you have to move the entire shipping container, then yeah you need 1 guy with a crane rather than 8 guys by hand. Modern software, though, is leaning towards breaking things down into small chunks that can be dealt with in parallel, so octacore CPUs are going to help and Qualcomm's living in the 90s.

  • People realize that the Exynos Octo they're talking about isn't usable as an 8-core CPU, right?

    The thing has four A15 cores, and four A7 cores. Only one of those groups can be used at a time. If you're using one or more A15 cores, the A7s are disabled, and vice versa.

    I'm not actually sure what the point of what Samsung is doing is. The A15s can presumably be power gated, so switching to the "low power" option only makes sense if it can use less power than a single A15 core in a lower power state. Do the fou

  • As an owner of an 8-core CPU, he's right.... for now. There's a pitiful number of uses for me to have anything more than 4 cores (some games I've seen dip into a 5th core for asset loading, and that's it). Hopefully when the PS4/XB1 come out developers will start writing games to use more than 3 cores for game logic. Unless browsers start loading pages outside of a single thread, I'm unlikely to need anything beyond a 2-core system for non-gaming.

  • Power? (Score:4, Informative)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Friday August 02, 2013 @01:10PM (#44459025)

    I thought the reasoning behind multiple cores was so you could power off the ones you're not using. It's not that you're taking 8 lawnmower engines and turning them into an 8 cylinder Ferrari engine, but you're putting 8 smaller lawnmower engines on your lawnmower so instead of using the big 80HP engine when you're just trimming a narrow stretch of grass, you only need to power up one 10HP engine while the rest of them remain powered off. If you're cutting wider stretch of grass, you can use 2 engines, etc. So you save energy by only using as many cores (engines) that you need for the task.

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