10-03-2012 01:27 AM
88 1234
tools
  1. a5cent's Avatar
    And it also was released as a Quad-core on the Zenith. I feel you are correct, and this will be a dual-core when it comes out. But so far no further updates on it.

    HTC Windows Phone 8 roadmap leaks out
    What I also find strange/suspicious is that for two of HTC's devices the SoC's are precisely named:

    HTC Rio = Qualcomm MSM8227
    HTC Accord = Qualcomm MSM8260A

    Both of these are dual-core Qualcomm S4 Plus SoC's. When it comes to the HTC Zenith however, no site has published anything beyond: "it will be a quad-core device"... even though there are just two quad-core S4 Pro SoC's to choose from.

    I could be wrong, but getting a quad-core device certainly would be a major departure from the approach Microsoft has taken to platform standardization up until now. I hope they don't f*** WP up and stick to their principles. They are really good, even if Microsoft has been terrible at explaining them (they never tried).
    snowmutt likes this.
    08-14-2012 07:34 PM
  2. PG2G's Avatar
    I think you're going to see your platform standardization go away sooner than you'd think. You can't reach both the high and low end (which Nokia desperately needs) if you're relying on a very fixed hardware platform. There will need to be a place for single, dual, and quad core phones in the Windows Phone ecosystem. Unless Microsoft keeps 7.x alive for the low end, but that would be a bad move.

    In addition, Qualcomm won't be the exclusive provider for much longer. Windows Phone is in NVIDIA's roadmap, long-time Nokia partner ST-Ericsson is coming, and i'd be very surprised if Samsung wasn't allowed to use their own SoC around the same time.
    08-14-2012 09:23 PM
  3. a5cent's Avatar
    I think you're going to see your platform standardization go away sooner than you'd think.
    It's not my standardization policy... I'm just quoting Microsoft's publications and judging by their past behavior (although I'll admit that isn't a 100% accurate way of predicting the future).

    You can't reach both the high and low end (which Nokia desperately needs) if you're relying on a very fixed hardware platform. There will need to be a place for single, dual, and quad core phones in the Windows Phone ecosystem. Unless Microsoft keeps 7.x alive for the low end, but that would be a bad move
    Yes. However, Microsoft & Nokia have already jointly stated that they will be releasing NEW WP7.x devices for some time to come. Both the WP8 and WP7 platforms will co-exist, just as PS2 and PS3 gaming consoles co-exist. I don't see any problem with that approach. Why do you think that would be a bad move? Anyway, that takes the issue of cheap WP8 devices off the table... there won't be any (at least not anywhere close to the sales price Nokia is targeting for China and India). For that Nokia will be using WP7.x

    In addition, Qualcomm won't be the exclusive provider for much longer. Windows Phone is in NVIDIA's roadmap, long-time Nokia partner ST-Ericsson is coming, and i'd be very surprised if Samsung wasn't allowed to use their own SoC around the same time.
    Picking one SoC and then "custom tailoring" WP to make perfect use of that single hardware platform was a great tactic. It is what made WP7 feel so fast on 2009 era hardware. What exactly do we gain by changing that recipe? It only puts WP at a disadvantage compared to iOS!

    I know NVIDIA and Samsung will get their chips into W8 tablets. That makes sense. However, I haven't heard anything official about any of their SoC's getting certified for WP8. Have you? All I've heard is that Qualcomm is Microsoft's ONLY official WP8 hardware launch partner. That may imply that other partners are yet to come, but it could also imply the opposite:

    Microsoft Announces First Windows Phone 8 Hardware Partners, Qualcomm SoC Inside [Update: MSM8960]

    Anyway, Samsung's smartphone and semiconductor divisions are very isolated from one another... they are almost separate companies. They actually put their semiconductor unit through bidding war's and many examples exist where their smartphone division chose a competing SoC over one of "their own". To sum up, if Samsung needs to build WP8 devices with Qualcomm SoC's, and they can earn money doing so, they will do it.

    Finally, ST-Ericsson has said over a thousand times that they will supply chips for WP. It started back in 2010. Maybe this time there is actually something to it, but I'm not holding my breath. I think ST-Ericsson is grasping at straws. That is all they have left now that Nokia isn't using their products to the extents they once did and they have no other way to placate their shareholders other than releasing these rumors.

    I'm not saying you're wrong. I just don't think the evidence currently points in that direction. Wait and see I guess...
    Last edited by a5cent; 08-14-2012 at 10:50 PM.
    08-14-2012 10:28 PM
  4. scottcraft's Avatar
    I think you're going to see your platform standardization go away sooner than you'd think. You can't reach both the high and low end (which Nokia desperately needs) if you're relying on a very fixed hardware platform. There will need to be a place for single, dual, and quad core phones in the Windows Phone ecosystem. Unless Microsoft keeps 7.x alive for the low end, but that would be a bad move.

    In addition, Qualcomm won't be the exclusive provider for much longer. Windows Phone is in NVIDIA's roadmap, long-time Nokia partner ST-Ericsson is coming, and i'd be very surprised if Samsung wasn't allowed to use their own SoC around the same time.
    Hopefully Microsoft will allow high and low end phones while keeping some platform standards. I do think they will loosen up on some stuff though.
    08-14-2012 10:28 PM
  5. snowmutt's Avatar
    I think you're going to see your platform standardization go away sooner than you'd think. You can't reach both the high and low end (which Nokia desperately needs) if you're relying on a very fixed hardware platform. There will need to be a place for single, dual, and quad core phones in the Windows Phone ecosystem. Unless Microsoft keeps 7.x alive for the low end, but that would be a bad move.

    In addition, Qualcomm won't be the exclusive provider for much longer. Windows Phone is in NVIDIA's roadmap, long-time Nokia partner ST-Ericsson is coming, and i'd be very surprised if Samsung wasn't allowed to use their own SoC around the same time.
    Long term, you are 100% correct so long as Microsoft is serious about challenging for #1 OS. How many Androids are activated a day now? There is no way WP could come close to Androids production depending on 1 supplier. Simple math.

    However I do agree with @a5cent that WP 8 at launch, and most likely through next year, will use one supplier and chipset.

    Except for Nokia and their low end Tango devices. Haven't they already recieved approval from MS for using a lower end chip?
    08-14-2012 10:29 PM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    Except for Nokia and their low end Tango devices. Haven't they already recieved approval from MS for using a lower end chip?
    Nope. ;)
    08-14-2012 10:55 PM
  7. PG2G's Avatar
    Yes. However, Microsoft & Nokia have already jointly stated that they will be releasing NEW WP7.x devices for some time to come. Both the WP8 and WP7 platforms will co-exist, just as PS2 and PS3 gaming consoles co-exist. I don't see any problem with that approach. Why do you think that would be a bad move? Anyway, that takes the issue of cheap WP8 devices off the table... there won't be any (at least not anywhere close to the sales price Nokia is targeting for China and India). For that Nokia will be using WP7.x
    I have seen nothing suggesting that they will continue to release WP7.X devices outside of those that have already been announced. Nokia has suggested that they will continue to support their users with updates, but there hasn't been anything to suggest that 7.8 isn't the end of the road.

    There is also nothing suggesting that existing devices aren't powerful enough to handle WP8. In fact, they've said existing devices could run it but it'd just be a lot of work.

    Continuing the 7.X branch alongside the 8.X branch is a terrible idea because they are effectively two different operating systems without app compatibility. iOS and Android devices will have compatibility between low and high end devices, it'd be foolish to expect to have any success without also meeting what is a pretty basic requirement.

    I know NVIDIA and Samsung will get their chips into W8 tablets. That makes sense. However, I haven't heard anything official about any of their SoC's getting certified for WP8. Have you? All I've heard is that Qualcomm is Microsoft's ONLY official WP8 hardware launch partner. That may imply that other partners are yet to come, but it could also imply the opposite:
    Nothing official. NVIDIA had this on their roadmap



    No real word on St-Ericsson in a while, this was the last as far as I know

    Geneva, Switzerland, November 2, 2011 - Nokia has selected ST-Ericsson as a supplier for future devices it plans to introduce based on the Windows Phone mobile platform.
    08-14-2012 11:05 PM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    How many Androids are activated a day now? There is no way WP could come close to Androids production depending on 1 supplier. Simple math.
    I wouldn't be so sure about that. How many suppliers do you think we have today? We actually only have two (not including ST-Ericsson which has become irrelevant)... all smartphone SoC's are either produced by Samsung (Apple, Samsung) or TSMC (TI, NVIDIA, Qualcomm).

    Of all these companies, Samsung is the only one with the ability to fabricate their own designs. All the others outsource that.

    Both Samsung and TSMC could supply the entire world with all the smartphone silicon we need... entirely on their own... given a years notice in advance of course.
    08-14-2012 11:24 PM
  9. PG2G's Avatar
    We're actually in the middle of a shortage of the Snapdragon S4 right now
    08-14-2012 11:35 PM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    We're actually in the middle of a shortage of the Snapdragon S4 right now
    Yes, but we aren't talking about shortages in general here. We are talking specifically about production capacity. The shortages you mentioned are due to process problems and yield issues. TSMC planned capacity to match the contracts they had in the pipeline. Unfortunately, their production lines aren't running as smoothly as they had hoped. Expanding capacity to compensate for all the defects simply isn't economically feasible. The only option TSMC has, is to get the kinks out. Until then, the shortages aren't going away.

    Like I said, production capacity isn't the problem, even though chip-designers currently only have two options. The only issue is that TSMC couldn't deliver the quality they promised soon enough.

    I'll get to your other post tomorrow. I'm tired. Thanks for the feedback though!
    08-15-2012 12:13 AM
  11. MrBurrrns's Avatar
    What I also find strange/suspicious is that for two of HTC's devices the SoC's are precisely named:

    HTC Rio = Qualcomm MSM8227
    HTC Accord = Qualcomm MSM8260A

    Both of these are dual-core Qualcomm S4 Plus SoC's. When it comes to the HTC Zenith however, no site has published anything beyond: "it will be a quad-core device"... even though there are just two quad-core S4 Pro SoC's to choose from.

    I could be wrong, but getting a quad-core device certainly would be a major departure from the approach Microsoft has taken to platform standardization up until now. I hope they don't f*** WP up and stick to their principles. They are really good, even if Microsoft has been terrible at explaining them (they never tried).
    AFAIK there is only one quad core S4 Pro chip - the APQ8064. So I think you are right and they are going to go with the dual core MSM8960T. The APQ8064 also does not include the modem, but who knows... Maybe we'll see some european/us variants with different chips used...
    08-15-2012 05:32 AM
  12. PG2G's Avatar
    AFAIK there is only one quad core S4 Pro chip - the APQ8064. So I think you are right and they are going to go with the dual core MSM8960T. The APQ8064 also does not include the modem, but who knows... Maybe we'll see some european/us variants with different chips used...
    If its using the APQ then itd probably use a separate modem. There is an Android phone coming this fall doing that, existing WP LTE phones are doing it as well because there is no S2 with integrated LTE modem.

    Im still not sure I buy that HTC rumor, but it seems like its cone from multiple places. They were also the only ones to push to 1.5 GHz in the last round, so I guess we'll wait and see
    08-15-2012 07:34 AM
  13. a5cent's Avatar
    AFAIK there is only one quad core S4 Pro chip - the APQ8064.
    You are right. Qualcomm offers two S4 Pro chips, but only the one you mentioned, which is intended for use in tablets, is actually a quad-core. I assumed too much.
    Im still not sure I buy that HTC rumor, but it seems like its cone from multiple places. They were also the only ones to push to 1.5 GHz in the last round, so I guess we'll wait and see
    For all the reasons we’ve discussed so far, I’m calling BS. I hope I won’t have to eat my words later... ;)
    There is also nothing suggesting that existing devices aren't powerful enough to handle WP8. In fact, they've said existing devices could run it but it'd just be a lot of work.
    Yes, I know. For the past six months I’ve been trying to explain to German enthusiasts exactly that. It was a relief when Microsoft finally said so themselves. But why are you bringing this up?
    Continuing the 7.X branch alongside the 8.X branch is a terrible idea because they are effectively two different operating systems without app compatibility. OS and Android devices will have compatibility between low and high end devices, it'd be foolish to expect to have any success without also meeting what is a pretty basic requirement.
    But they are compatible! WP7 apps run perfectly well on WP8. Just the opposite doesn’t work, but that doesn’t work anywhere! W7 apps don’t run on XP. PS3 games don’t run on PS2. iOS 5 apps don’t run on iOS3 etc. etc. etc.

    90% of all apps simply don’t need WP8 hardware. Developers will continue to target those apps at WP7.5.x which will also run on WP8. Developers making really fancy stuff and high-end games will obviously target WP8, but if that is what you’re into you will be getting a WP8 device anyway, so no problem there either. Since WP 7.5.x will be around for quite some time (more on that later), the WP7 app market won’t be drying up anytime soon.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say this isn’t half as terrible as you think. We’re just not used to thinking about the smartphone market in this way because Google and Apple do it differently. What basic requirement is getting violated exactly?
    No real word on St-Ericsson in a while, this was the last as far as I know
    Yeah, I saw that too. Anyway, like I said, ST-Ericsson has “cried wolf” so many times since 2010, that I just ain’t buying it any longer... at least not until I see the wolf myself (an ST- Ericsson powered WP device).

    If ST-Ericsson gets involved, it will be restricted to supplying SoC’s for WP7.5.1 (Tango) based devices. Nothing else.
    Hopefully Microsoft will allow high and low end phones while keeping some platform standards. I do think they will loosen up on some stuff though.
    IMHO, Microsoft has already done precisely that!

    There is only one thing left Microsoft rigorously standardizes... the SoC (CPU and GPU). Microsoft must do this so developers know what performance characteristics their apps may rely on. Thanks to SoC standardization developers can optimize their apps for that specific hardware platform... that can make a huge difference... particularly in games. Finally, it also makes testing a hundred times more effective and much less costly, which should result in higher quality apps (on average) compared to android.

    In all other regards, OEM’s can do more or less whatever they want. Low end WP8 devices will come with smaller screens, lower resolution displays, smaller batteries, cheaper materials, lower quality cameras (or none at all), less RAM, no SD card, etc, etc, etc. Higher end devices should have the opposite.

    What I’m saying is that Microsoft has already found the right balance between flexibility and standardization. Fail to standardize that one last and most important thing... the SoC... and we can basically forget about standardization and "look forward" to becoming as fragmented as android is.
    I have seen nothing suggesting that they will continue to release WP7.X devices outside of those that have already been announced. Nokia has suggested that they will continue to support their users with updates, but there hasn't been anything to suggest that 7.8 isn't the end of the road.
    Well, consider this: Microsoft spent a good part of 2011 and much developer effort and treasure on WP7.5.1 (Tango). Most of the effort was made on Nokia’s behalf. For us Westerners, Tango was an uneventful, boring update to WP7.5. However, Tango is actually a new branch off of WP7.5... its own OS if you will. App developers now explicitly target either: WP7.5 (Mango), WP7.5.1 (Tango) or WP8 (Apollo), each of which place different restrictions on what hardware resources apps may or may not use. Microsoft also re-engineered large parts of their backed services to support these low end devices. But how many Tango based devices have come to market so far? Only one, the Nokia 610 (that I'm aware of). Now, how likely is it that Microsoft took all that upon themselves, a huge effort that was just recently completed, so Nokia could release just one measly device just before abandoning the WP7 line completely and jumping over to WP8?

    I’m guessing we will see more Tango based Nokia’s after the first batch of WP8 devices come out. I'm also guessing you won't see any of them... unless you live in India or China that is.

    I know this doesn’t prove anything. I could state that a higher-up at Nokia explained this to me, but such words are rarely worth the pixels required to display them.

    Anyway, Paul Thurrott was the only credible source I could find who explains this issue in one of his older posts:

    Windows Phone "Tango"

    He doesn't explicitly state that we should expect new Tango devices well into 2013, but I think it can be implied. Make of it what you will.
    Last edited by a5cent; 08-15-2012 at 08:03 PM.
    08-15-2012 07:57 PM
  14. scottcraft's Avatar
    Thanks for another informative post a5cent!
    aubreyq likes this.
    08-15-2012 08:34 PM
  15. PG2G's Avatar
    But they are compatible! WP7 apps run perfectly well on WP8. Just the opposite doesn’t work, but that doesn’t work anywhere! W7 apps don’t run on XP. PS3 games don’t run on PS2. iOS 5 apps don’t run on iOS3 etc. etc. etc.

    90% of all apps simply don’t need WP8 hardware. Developers will continue to target those apps at WP7.5.x which will also run on WP8. Developers making really fancy stuff and high-end games will obviously target WP8, but if that is what you’re into you will be getting a WP8 device anyway, so no problem there either. Since WP 7.5.x will be around for quite some time (more on that later), the WP7 app market won’t be drying up anytime soon.
    The problem is the WP 7.X platform was hardly competitive with iOS4 and Android 2.3 when it comes to platform features and the SDK. If a majority of the apps stick to 7.X compatibility (which is what would be necessary for the WP 7.X platform to be viable) then both of the platforms are screwed.

    Every day apps (foursquare, exercise apps) are going to want to use background location
    Every day apps (facebook, twitter) are going to want to use lock screen notifications
    Every day apps (instagram, Photosynth) are going to want to use Lenses

    It isn't just a few random high end games and apps using new hardware features that need the WP8 SDK, it is the apps that we use every day. If WP 7.X is kept around developers will either have to not use any new features, they will have to have develop two versions of their apps, or WP8 will have a terrible ecosystem of apps that don't have the same capabilities as iOS and Android.

    The question for you is, IF the hardware can handle WP8, why would they continue to push WP 7.X? There is no benefit whatsoever, especially when you consider that this is the same company who is going to ship an OS with apps that run on anything from a Snapdragon to an i7.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say this isn’t half as terrible as you think. We’re just not used to thinking about the smartphone market in this way because Google and Apple do it differently. What basic requirement is getting violated exactly?
    So, the two dominating forces in the market do it the same way but you are advocating that Microsoft go with something inferior? Sounds like a recipe for failure. The market has a certain expectation, Microsoft can't just go clean slate every two years and hope to get away with it.
    Last edited by PG2G; 08-15-2012 at 09:50 PM.
    08-15-2012 09:45 PM
  16. KoukiFC3S's Avatar
    Great post. Thanks.
    08-16-2012 02:11 AM
  17. ChristianKing's Avatar
    ideally I'd like 4 cores and here's why. Cores 1 and 2 are dedicated to the os. In windows phone 7.5, Microsoft did a wonderful job of offloading a lot of operations off the main UI thread. This is wonderful because the UI remains responsive. However ideally, you'd want to offload all those non UI activity threads to their own core and leave everything else OS related on a separate core.

    The third core should be dedicated to imaging and video. Pushing pixels with a dedicated core can yeild some awesome results.

    The fourth core should be dedicated to sound and signal processing.

    In reality I've described a dual core device with a dedicated resources to aid the imaging and sound Processors. The Pureview sesnsor has a dedicated processor to help move all those pics. Dedicating another processor to sound would allow high fidelity audio files to make an appearance in video and music.

    AS a developer, two cores is awesome when you do a lot of asychrounous programming but dedicated resources for pics and audio would yield a benefit that users can tangibly see every day
    08-16-2012 09:40 AM
  18. CSJr1's Avatar
    I appreciate the OP insight and much of it makes sense. However, its not what the people need it is what peolpe want. These cell phones are becoming personal computers for some. In a couple of years, I see many will uses these more than their home PCs. So when it comes to resale value of your phablet 2 years from now, people are going to want one with modern specs instead of outdated ones.

    Besides, a quad core WP8 would mute an Android argument no matter how irrelevant the argument is (right now).
    08-16-2012 10:37 AM
  19. kinslayer's Avatar
    An excellent post! Pretty much what I keep telling people but put much more elegantly. Would be nice for tech bloggers to read this actually. I get very annoyed when I see them touting a device's performance for the "quad core" inside :/

    But alas...as some people have said, thanks to Android putting the power back in the OEM's hands, they are playing the specs game which mean nothing. Usually at the cost of user experience and battery life.

    Thanks for the post! I would love to hear more about what you know of Android's perf on phones. The stuff you mentioned I knew already (except for the scheduler being tied to 2 cores only). I wonder what else I don't know.
    08-16-2012 01:10 PM
  20. a5cent's Avatar
    ideally I'd like 4 cores and here's why. Cores 1 and 2 are dedicated to the os.
    <snipped>
    The third core should be dedicated to imaging and video. Pushing pixels with a dedicated core can yeild some awesome results.
    <snipped>
    The fourth core should be dedicated to sound and signal processing.
    <snipped>
    I don't quite agree with the concept of dedicating two general purpose cores solely to the OS, but I agree with the basic gist of your post. However, I think it may be confusing to many who don't quite understand what you are talking about.

    What you are saying is that you want a device with more than two cores, but you want the cores beyond the second to be specialized cores (audio/video); not the general purpose processing cores we normally refer to.

    Based on your definition, you (and everyone else who sees things similarly... as do I) should be absolutely thrilled with the upcoming WP8 "dual-core" devices. Just take a look at the MSM8960 (Snapdragon S4 Plus) which will be in all of Nokia's WP8 handsets:

    Click to view quoted image

    Although these are marketed to us as dual-core devices, they actually incorporate many more (even more cores than you wished for):

    2x (Modem Subsystem) Hexagon DSP cores
    1x (Multimedia Subsystem) Hexagon DSP core
    1x Multimedia Processor
    1x Graphics Processor (GPU)
    2x Krait general purpose processing cores (dual-core CPU)

    That is a total of 7 cores! WP8 should be able to make superb use of all of these cores! MUCH MORE SO than ANY of the android devices, which are generally terrible at using anything beyond the general purpose cores. Of course, this assumes that Microsoft sticks to their current policy of rigid SoC standardization.

    However, its not what the people need it is what people want.
    <snipped>
    Besides, a quad core WP8 would mute an Android argument no matter how irrelevant the argument is (right now).
    I think I already stated what I think about this type of approach. Call me an idealist! Call me an optimist! I just hate the idea of caving to stupidity. I think it is up to people like the ones in this community, to take a stand against misinformation and marketing buzz. After all... only enthusiasts give a hoot about how many cores are in there phones, and enthusiasts will usually want to learn about what actually makes their devices tick.

    The basic problem is that hardware is much easier to market than software. When was the last time you saw a software related spec on a datasheet? Unfortunately for low-information enthusiasts, hardware only defines the potential that a device has. How close any particular device gets to fulfilling that potential is defined entirely by software. This is where Android falls flat on it's face.

    With the arrival of WP8, the WP community will be on level footing with Android hardware for the first time. Hopefully, we will get our first native-code and cross-platform games soon afterwards (in addition to a lot of EA exclusives ;) ). Hopefully, a few of those games will include time-demos and measure frame rates. We have had this on the PC for years, but haven't got anything like it for the smartphone space yet. In comparisons like these, WP will blow similarly priced android devices out of the water, even if the Android devices have a few cores more.

    So when it comes to resale value of your phablet 2 years from now, people are going to want one with modern specs instead of outdated ones.
    Nope, no matter what you buy now, it will be outdated in two years. Forget it.

    @PG2G You make some excellent points! For now I stuck to the things I could quickly respond to, but I will get back to your posts later.
    Last edited by a5cent; 08-16-2012 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Spelling
    stevovr likes this.
    08-16-2012 02:12 PM
  21. PG2G's Avatar
    I think in the end it is all a bit of a moot point, the Qualcomms, NVIDIAs, TIs, and Samsungs of the world are going to keep pushing the number of cores up and we're going to have to take it if we want to stay current. And we'll need to stay current in order to realize the improvements in process as well as the better GPUs.
    08-16-2012 02:46 PM
  22. a5cent's Avatar
    Some of you may be asking what I’m really “crusading” against here.

    Is it really so bad to have a device with four cores? No. It isn’t.

    So what if the third and fourth cores are useless 99.9% of the time? Will the government take me to court and charge me for neglecting my CPU cores? You never know, but it’s doubtful.

    Well, what about the claim that having more cores will drain the battery faster? Well, some claim the exact opposite. In reality, both takes on this issue are far too simplistic. There is no generally correct answer to this question, and bloggers taking one or the other side are just looking for simple answers where none exist. I can easily setup lab experiments proving both sides are right under certain conditions. The only way to answer this question is to run the same application on multiple platforms and measure power draw. This tells you how efficient a specific platform can run a specific app. Take a different app and the winners and losers may change entirely. The only valid statement we might make is that we can generally expect the best results in those situations, where the hardware / software pairings are most closely aligned. So, if the apps you use every day make good use of 1.6 cores (on average), then a dual-core device is likely your best bet. However, even this is a gross oversimplification, and not universally true. Change that number to 1.2 or 2.1 and things get much trickier. This whole discussion, where core count is directly related to power draw without considering much else is, at best, amusing.
    I think in the end it is all a bit of a moot point, the Qualcomms, NVIDIAs, TIs, and Samsungs of the world are going to keep pushing the number of cores up and we're going to have to take it if we want to stay current. And we'll need to stay current in order to realize the improvements in process as well as the better GPUs.
    This is one of the reasons I posted here. PG2G is right of course, but only if we enthusiasts keep blindly buying into the argument that more cores are better. This may be generalized into the statement: “blindly buying into what marketeers feed us”. In contrast to what most people believe, SoC manufacturers don’t exist to design the best possible hardware. They exist to design the best SELLING hardware. nVidia’s Tegra3 SoC is one such example. It includes a fifth core for no other purpose than being able to increment the core count on their spec sheet by one. Instead, they could have underclocked one of their other four cores and used the transistors they dedicated to the fifth core for purposes that actually result in a tangible benefit. In the hardware industry this game is known as “spec sheet optimization”.

    Consider also which semiconductor companies contributed most to the advancement of PC technology in the last decade. This was by far the graphics industry lead by nVidia and AMD. Why? Largely for one reason, namely that competition was based on benchmarking performance with actual games and nothing else. AMD’s and nVidia’s GPU’s are highly parallelized processors with dozens or even hundreds of cores. Do you ever hear marketing speak from either company about how many cores their GPU’s have? No, even though one company’s products has many more cores than the others. Why? Because we have much more objective ways of measuring their offerings. This is what we are sorely lacking in the smartphone industry. I look forward to the day, when we can all look up benchmarks on the internet telling us how 20 or 30 of the most popular apps perform on which devices and what to expect in terms of battery life.

    Until this is corrected, WP will always play second fiddle to Android. Either that, or market pressures will force Microsoft to abandon good policies that would have resulted in better products, just to put themselves on a level playing field in terms of marketing potential. Sacrificing the integrity of WP to this end would be a real shame, particularly since I find WP the best OS Microsoft ever made (from a developers point of view).

    Collectively, we enthusiasts steer the tech industry with our wallets and the wallets of those we make recommendations to. I don’t like the direction the smartphone industry is taking at the moment... mostly fluff and no substance. I don’t have any illusions this post will change much, but at least I tried and didn’t just clench my fist. Maybe my post can contribute, in some small way, to tiding WP (and Nokia) over until we get what is needed to benchmark smartphones in a more meaningful way than souped-up spec sheets.

    That is why I posted here.
    Last edited by a5cent; 08-16-2012 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Spelling
    08-16-2012 07:09 PM
  23. scottcraft's Avatar
    So a5cent, where do you get this kind of knowledge? I would like to educate myself a bit more about this kind of stuff.
    08-16-2012 10:36 PM
  24. thecaringkind's Avatar
    Ahhhh A GREAT question. Having multiple cores do offer some advantages however I like the way that WP was originally designed in that the OS was coded to work VERY well with a single core chipset. I understand that Windows Phone 8 is written on an entirely new kernel, one that can support multiple cores and other processor intensive features and all of that is great. However I think we all overestimate the 'speed' at which our phone OS allow up to experience. All of us would like an instant response, whether we are opening an app or browsing the web, however can any of us that may have the Lumia 900 truly say that the phone is 'slow'? If so, compared to what? How do we properly gauge responsiveness? In most real world settings our single core chipsets are able to get through our tasks in a pretty brisk manner without jitteryness, lag or crashes. As a matter of fact the code written into the OS with single core chips on board work together pretty flawlessly. Its part of what makes WP stand out over the competition. I am sure that Apollo will wow many folks in terms of its pure power, however in retrospect those of us happy with the most recent TANGO update on our AT&T Lumia 900's can all rightly say that our chipsets may not be a Maserati, but they cruise lovely and consistently once they are off of the line a millisecond or two after the dual core competition crashes and burns on Android and (occasionally), iPhones. :D
    08-17-2012 12:34 AM
  25. CSJr1's Avatar
    I will always be one to push technology instead of stiffle it. Even though 4 cores are not useful now, it doesn't mean it wont be useful in 6 months. But if we blindly put the breaks on WP8 with 4 cores, then we don't give developers something to push for.

    As far as fragmenting 2 cores vs 4 core phones. I don't really see it that way. So lets say a developer maximizes threads to run with 4 cores, it doesn't mean that said app will crash on 2 cores. The app will not be as fast.

    WP8 Kernel can theoretically handle 64 cores. So how long are we supposed to put the breaks at 2? Its the chicken and the egg: Developers can't maximize for 4 cores if we tell them to hold and stay with a 2 core device because other apps these days don't even use 2 cores well. As with WPBench, any developer can code an app that launches multiple simultaneous threads. But getting these threads to do something useful, thats the key. Lets not stiflle this.


    This is just my opinion as a visionary who looks to the future. The past is so yesterday.
    08-17-2012 10:32 AM
88 1234
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD