informa
/
2 min read
Commentary

Because A Single 1GHz Core Isn't Enough

One of the hot processors right now is the Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The HTC HD2 uses it, as well as the recently released HTC EVO 4G on the Sprint network. If that kind of power isn't enough for you though, there is hope. Qualcomm has just announced a line of dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragons.
One of the hot processors right now is the Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The HTC HD2 uses it, as well as the recently released HTC EVO 4G on the Sprint network. If that kind of power isn't enough for you though, there is hope. Qualcomm has just announced a line of dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragons.These powerhouse processors are designed for smartphones and tablets. Still based on ARM architecture, platforms like iOS (Apple's new name for the iPhone OS), Windows Phone 7, Android and WebOS can take advantage of it.

The family of processors support HSPA+ or HSPA_/CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. B. For graphics, they support 2D and 3D acceleration engines for Open GLES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1. Video is no sweat either as they support 1080p encoding and decoding for display on a crisp 24bit 1280x800 screen.

Of course, low power is mentioned several times in the press release, but you have to wonder how much battery life those dual cores will consume.

While raw power is nice, one potential benefit of multiple cores in mobile devices is multitasking. The iPhone hasn't supported multitasking since it launched in 2007, though version 4 will have limited support for very specific tasks. Windows Phone 7 removed multitasking from Microsoft's mobile platform after supporting it for over a decade in its predecessors. Power consumption is one reason, but having a rogue process hog the processor causes the device to act sluggishly and that generally is blamed on the device, not the third party app.

Having multiple cores means you could theoretically lock third party apps to the second core and leave primary device functions on the first core. Whether or not platform developers make use of it this way remains to be seen. At best, we are a few years away from this. It does raise interesting possibilities.

You can see the full details Qualcomm has announced in the press release.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Greg Douglass, Global Lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory, Accenture
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter