Android became even more famous when they announced that they are now capable of supporting dual-core devices. It was their Android 2.3.4 which was released last April 2011 that made the full utilization of a dual core system.
What surprises me is Intel’s latest test. Their test revealed that the latest Android operating system, Android 4 ICS, which has multiple cores is just giving a little benefit and speed and can even be a detrimental to performance.
Android’s thread scheduler isn’t ready yet for multi-core processors. Mike Bell, GM of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group, pin-pointed.
“If you are in a non-power constrained case, I think multiple cores make a lot of sense because you can run the cores full out, you can actually heavily load them and/or if the operating system has a good thread scheduler. A lot of stuff we are dealing with, thread scheduling and thread affinity isn’t there yet and on top of that, largely when the operating system goes to do a single task, a lot of other stuff stops. So as we move to multiple cores, we’re actually putting a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it.” Bell said.
There is even more of a surprise when Intel discovered that a single core system is running faster than a multi-core system. Crazy isn’t it? “If you take a look a lot of handsets on the market, when you turn on the second core or having the second core there [on die], the [current] leakage is high enough and their power threshold is low enough because of the size of the case that it isn’t entirely clear you get much of a benefit to turning the second core on. We ran our own numbers and [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.”According to 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 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. Right now the lack of software effort by some of the folks who have done their hardware implementation is a bigger disadvantage than anything else,” Bell added.
Android has always been the first one to support single core to dual core to quad core systems. But with Microsoft reportedly working obsessively for the performance of their Windows Phone, how will Android respond to this? I suppose+ that Windows 8 will maximize the full potential of dual core processors on future gadgets. If Android doesn’t do something about this, you’re out of the competition immediately.
Simply, they’ll be dethroned.