Intel: Having A Dual Core On Android May Be A Bad Thing

Posted Jun 11, 2012

Even though you may have an Android device with a dual-core processors, you may feel like that the software tends to lag. Intel conducted a study and discovered that Android devices may not be ready for more than one core. Dual-core actually could be hurting the performance of Android devices too.

Android was only ready for dual-core chips when Android 2.3.4 was released in April 2011. Unfortunately before that, Android devices were shipping with dual-core power that was not being taken advantage of by the operating system. Intel GM of Mobile and Communications said that the thread scheduler on Android is not ready for multiple cores. Intel’s testing showed that multiple core processors running on Android was slower than with a single core. Adding a second core lead to current leakage and a low power threshold.

“I?ve taken a look at the multiple core implementations in the market, and frankly, in a thermal and/or power constrained environment ? what has been implemented ? it isn?t obvious to me you really get the advantage for the size and the cost of what?s going into that part. 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,” said Bell.

Running multiple cores only make sense where power management is not an issue and the operating system has a good thread scheduler. Android is not there yet. When the Android OS goes to do a single task, “a lot of other stuff stops.”