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Android slowed down by multi-core processors, Intel says

MobileNews
, 13 Jun 2012News

Android is not ready for dual- or multi-core processors, and chip manufacturers must do more to optimise the operating system for use with powerful CPUs, says Intel.

The use of multi-core processors can actually make Android devices slower, said Mike Bell, general manager of Intel's mobile and communications group, who blames Android's multi-threading capability, or lack thereof, for the operating system's difficulty in effectively handling powerful CPUs.

The more cores a device has, the more power it requires - and, for the time being, that amount of power is simply too much for Android devices to balance.

"[In] some of the use cases we've seen, having a second core is actually a detriment, because of the way some of the people have not implemented their thread scheduling," said Bell. "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 finger-pointing also serves to defend Intel's new single-core Medfield Atom processor. The CPU, which can handle thread scheduling, is competing against significantly more powerful multi-core processors.

"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 [system-on-chips], but they just haven't bothered to do it," he said, further criticising chip manufacturers who insist on using multi-core processors to power Android devices.

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