How are we benefiting from Multicore Mobile Devices?


The mobile revolution is probably the most tremendous and significant phenomenon we have witnessed so far in the technological domain with far reaching impact than any other trend. This was predominantly or chiefly due to a growing need and tendency of mobilizing every bit of vital information a user wants to access. This therefore shifted the dynamics of data access and as a result birthed the new "mobility" paradigm which spanned across almost all functional areas of usability. The mobile phone or handset or device which represents the focal entity or element through which any communication experience is delivered, is deemed the main artifact with varying form factors which dictate a given design of a device at a particular time, with respect to the available embedded technology and physics. The CPU has for a long time remained the dominant architecture when it came to computing devices, partly because of the prevalence of the desktop computer which was much more appropriate and convenient for effectively performing and sustaining relevant tasks. Today, multitasking which is one thing that has driven away from the CPU, has somehow assimilated in the mobile paradigm and therefore prompted for a much more efficient and scalable form of computing. (...post by Souma Badombena Wanta _catalyst_one)

With a CPU, highly concurrent applications on a device would put a heavy processing demand and power consumption burden tasks on the processor which in turn suffered the consequences of such a heavy workload materialized in reduced or degraded performance and overheating. Such effects, were considered serious and inconvenient drawbacks and issues, and it was almost an imperative to devise better ways of handling such processing cases or modes. The Desktop CPU industry indeed embraced the multicore paradigm and started making multicore desktop and laptop PCs. So more recently, the mobile world started feeling an increasing, demanding and almost aching need to implement and put multicore processors in the heart of mobile device so that they could handle all the heavy processing burden caused by various user-oriented tasks associated to data-hungry application that provoke data-intensive transactions. It is to be kept in mind that users however all the while would like to maintain a longer battery life; reason why multicore was inevitable. So how exactly does multicore processors enable a better performance and lower power consumption? Let's explain this concept a little bit. The quality of experience on devices containing single core CPUs rapidly degrades when users run multiple applications concurrently, or performance-intensive applications such as games, video conferencing, video editing, etc. Therefore in order to improve CPU performance, several techniques are utilized, such as using faster and smaller semiconductor processes, increasing core operating frequency and voltage, using larger
cores, and using larger on-die caches. Increasing the size of the CPU or the overclocking it for more performance and not viable solutions or sustainable ones in the long run. So to satisfy the rapidly growing demand for performance and form factor attractiveness in mobile
devices, the industry has begun to adopt newer technologies such as Symmetrical Multiprocessing and Heterogeneous Multi-core computing. Symmetrical Multiprocessing technology enables mobile processors to not only deliver higher performance, but also meet peak performance demands while staying within mobile power budgets. Imagine a mobile phone that has a dual core CPU with SMP support-- if the phone’s navigation application is running concurrently with a streaming audio application, the OS can assign the navigation task to one CPU core and the streaming audio task to the second CPU. So that's in a nutshell how multicore processors represent a huge advantage in mobile phones or devices, and from which we benefit by experience faster applications browsing on our devices.

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