Qualcomm has finally reacted to rival Samsung’s latest entry into the mobile CPU market with the announcement of the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, an 8-core mobile processor based on architecture from ARM Holdings. According to Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, Samsung’s promotion of the chipset is at best a misleading publicity stunt.
Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, and NVIDIA had announced new mobile-centric chipsets designed around ARM Holdings’ architectures at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Samsung stood out with its 8-core announcement and NVIDIA slyly hinted that it would follow suit with a K3V3 processor for release this year with 8 cores. Qualcomm had announced improved Snapdragon 600 and 800 chips and NVIDIA is pushing ahead with its 4 + 1 architecture with the new Tegra 4 CPU.
According to Jacobs, Qualcomm’s ‘born mobile’ slogan makes it stand out among the competitors because it has always been mobile-centric. With Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa, the power consumption of the four high performance cores was simply too high, Jacobs said, and that was why Samsung added 4 lower power cores to do every day tasks using ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture.
Essentially, Unwired View reports that big.LITTLE allows the four high performance Cortex A15 cores to be in use when the smartphone or tablet does processor-intensive work, such as playing a video game, and for ever day tasks like checking calendar or email, the lower performance Cortex A7 cores come to play.
Jacobs states that more isn’t always better, and with the Snapdragon 600 and 800, the four cores can scale performance and battery consumption to what’s needed at hand.
We’ll have to wait to see how real world performance handles on commercially released smartphones with these varying chipsets and architectures before we pass final judgment. The Samsung Exynos 5 Octa is rumored to arrive in a new Samsung Galaxy Note phablet with a 6.3-inch full HD display. NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 has been rumored for the unannounced HTC M7 smartphone along with some new Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.7 devices.