Samsung announces 8-core mobile processor

Four cores just not cutting your smartphone mustard? Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa processor brings all the cores to the yard.

Four cores just not cutting your smartphone mustard? Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa processor brings all the cores to the yard.

A quad-core wafer. (Credit: AMD)

Although, yes, the new processor designed for tablets and smartphones has eight whole cores, they don't necessarily all run simultaneously. Instead, the processor is divided up into two lots of four cores: an ARM Cortex-A15 for high performance use (as exists in the Exynos 5 Dual, which powers the Nexus 10 and the Chromebook), such as for games and video; and a Cortex-A7 for more basic tasks.

As reported by ZDNet, the processor uses ARM's big.LITTLE processing to switch between processors smoothly so that the user doesn't even notice the change; and by using the lower-power processor most of the time, Samsung claims that it has been able to cut power consumption by up to 70 per cent, meaning that a smartphone battery would be able to handle it.

However, according to Samsung, the two processors will be able to work in concert, too, meaning that users would be able to run several processes simultaneously without experiencing lag or disruption.

What do you think? Is octo-core overkill?

About the author

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

 

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