Wow. According to this we can expect quad-core phones by the end of the year. It's absolutely amazing how quickly smartphone technology is advancing.
I just hope that battery life continues to improve with smartphones. I am not happy with the Nexus One: seems like it hardly lasts a day. Give me a phone with GPS that doesn't run the battery down so fast; I'd take that over quad core!
Multiple cores are not used unless the software has been designed to take advantage of them. Programs that support multiple simultaneous users, such as websites, or multiple independent processes, such as a compiler processing multiple files of source code, or an operating system supporting multiple programs, work great with multiple cores.
But most programs on you PC (word processing, e-mail, browser...), and virtually every program that runs on a cell phone, have a single execution thread, and never use the extra cores. Therefore, for most people, you will have a better experience, and think your device as faster, if it has less cores and a higher clock frequency.
Reducing power consumption was a major motivation to develop multi-cores.
That said, the greatest waste of battery life is that programs either don't, or can't (because the operating system doesn't support it), tell the operating system that that they can sleep for a while and not use power. In other words, the solution to reducing power consumption may be more in the realm of software than hardware -- along with improving batteries.
Not all phones don't take advantage of multiple cores poorly. WebOS for example can not only scale the spped of the cores as needed, it can also shut off unneeded cores, to save battery life. This is as far as I know unique to smartphone OSes. It's also a welcome change as WebOS hasn't been known for it's outstanding battery life.
I am not surprised but as others have noted, the battery power is the issue. Unless you can figure out a way to get massive amounts of energy stored chemically in a small space, multicore CPU's are going to drain the batteries faster than ever. Now if we could come up with a safe nuclear battery perhaps we could have a cellphone that could run longer than the lifetime of the owner. Buy a battery once and use it in every phone you ever upgrade to forever!
Smartphones have horrible battery life, but you need to consider the amout of drain it has on such a small abattery for the amount of proccesses that it operates
Multicore processors don't automatically mean reduced battery life. Still, at this point hardware has greatly out striped software. I use a Evo, my wife a Epic, both are more than fast enough. The biggest limiting factor in using them? Battery. Not speed! I can only speak for myself, but what I desperately want is drastically longer battery life. The problem is that the manufactures seem to feel the current status quo for battery life is acceptable. The Evo is my 4th smartphone and I haven't seen a significant improvement in battery life yet. Any improvements in efficiency is gobbled up by new power using features or the battery is reduced in size to make a slimmer device. The devices do more, but battery life remains lousy.
Do you remember the great megahertz race of a decade or so ago? AMD and Intel struggling to one-up each other on clock speed?
For the last few years it's been how many cores, cache sizes, and the like.
Did any of that help end users get things done?
The phone vendors touting how many cores in their phones are to me quite reminiscent of the MHz wars, or of auto manufacturers touting McPherson strut suspensions on cars destined to spend their lives traveling the suburbs carrying kids and groceries -- do consumers, the buyers and users of these products know or care?
To me, touting the number of cores or the processor speed is an indication that someone is in deep doo-doo, frantically looking for something, anything to differentiate their product over the competition and against the phones people are currently using. Grasping at anything to differentiate a product in a market that is saturated.
Why should I care how many cores, MHz, or megabytes of memory my phone has? Is that what we're looking for when buying a phone? Am I supposed to feel inadequate because my current phone doesn't have a bazillion gigahertz processor with at least a dozen cores running software that's still in beta?
(I carry a virgin mobile phone that doesn't have a camera. It is used to make phone calls, that's all.)
(And I'm typing this on a dual quad core Mac Pro.)
bob in silicon valley
You can already see changes with GPS happening with todays phones with Garmin, TomTom, etc. apps in the app store. Anyone try these yet? I'm a bit skeptical about GPS on my phone but this is where things are headed.
Once you get past the hype, you realize it does very little for the product. I will admit there is a call for some of the faster processor/more memory upgrades. People are looking to converged devices that do a lot of things even if none of them well.
My laptop is a dual core Turion with a 250G PATA 5200 RPM disk running XP Media Edition. I've got ONE program that can effectively use both cores.
So many of these devices are hype with lots of specs to attract users. One of the most important specs to me is useful battery life. I'm glad RIM sees it the same way I do and not get too much into the spec race where users need to charge their devices multiple times to get through one business day.
Check out Blackberry if you are looking for a smartphone that will last you an entire day and you don't necessarily care about gaming on your phone.
DrewDT - you need to stop drinking the RIM kool aid. Because my android device can go two days without charging.
And for those folks who don't feel the need to own a smartphone, why are you wasting your time posting in the smartphone section of this forum????? I no longer own a Garmin so I no longer go to the Garmin section and rip Garmin apart for having defective software and devices! Maybe I should start doing that...
my EVO last a whole day if I use it for text and calls only,but I soon I start video,pandora,,,etc battery dry fast
The future is wearable computers in my opinion. We will all have numbers on top of our heads pretty soon.
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