Phones and tablets with quad-core chips are easy to find these days, and there are even a few models with so-called octa-core chips. But up until now most of those 8-core chips were designed so that most of the time 4 or fewer cores are actually in use.
Now Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek has introduced what it’s calling the first “true” octa-core chip. The MT6592 is a processor that can use up to 8 processor cores at once… although it’s not clear what that will actually mean in terms of day-to-day performance.
The MediaTek MT6592 is a 28nm chip with 8 ARM Cortex-A7 cores that can run at speeds up to 2 GHz. It’ll likely start showing up in Android phones and tablets by the end of 2013.
But more it takes more than extra cores to make a device actually operate faster. App developers have to write software that actually uses the extra cores, and right now most Android apps aren’t optimized for octa-core chips of this type. MediaTek says there are a few apps that should immediately be able to take advantage of the octa-core chip, including Google Chrome and some map and video apps.
Upcoming games including Modern Combat 5 will also be optimized for the new chip.
The good news is that more cores doesn’t always mean more power consumption. Spreading out tasks between multiple threads can actually reduce power usage in order to provide longer battery life (by either completing CPU-intensive tasks more quickly or by running multiple cores at lower speeds instead of a single core at a high speed).
MediaTek says the chip, which has ARM Mali-450 graphics, can also support 4K video playback and handle input from a 16 megapixel camera. It supports 802.11n WiFi, Miracast wireless display, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM Radio.
While the MT6592 chip is notable because of its 8-core design, it’s still using the relatively low-power ARM Cortex-A7 architecture. MediaTek is also working on chips with more powerful ARM Cortex-A50 designs.
Who knows how many graphics cores in ARM Mali-450?
There sure are many chinese THL-brand advocates in various forums these days providing very pointed feedback. If only they spent a fraction of that effort working towards fixing those real support and sustainability issues. Still, it’s also down to Mediatek to participate and contribute. (crickets…)
Oh well, darwinian principles still apply. People who ignore support, updates and security deserve what they get. Unfortunately the average Jane and Joe don’t really understand what they are in for. If the media ignores this issue we’ll have learned nothing from the great gingerbread 2.3 infestation festering out there.
It’s technically a positive that there are more competing ARM designs out there, but it time that after-sales support and source code maintanence and security start to be taken seriously.
AFAICT neither Mediatek nor their chinese budget customers provide much in terms of updates, let alone enough source code (some technically GPL-licenced) for volunteers to try and incorporate themselves the security and usability fixes which aren’t forthcoming via the official channels. Would you trust the stock ROM to be all you need for the remainder of the device’s life, as short as it may be?
*Sustainability*, both technical and ecological in terms of premature obsoletion resulting in toxic waste, should really be a major consideration here. Maybe, just maybe eventually one of the manufacturers learns and others consequently lose business. But it requires that us customers and our reps the reviewers keep bringing up this sustainability aspect again and again.
Any comment, Mediatek? (crickets…)
Too busy making weak toxic chips that they won’t support for long. 😉
That’s not only the case of chinese makers, don’t know any company that support more than one or two years update… And about holes, security on Android is just a bad joke… At least with custom rom, you have a better support without google made first security hole for NSA & big players purpose…
Anyway, at this price, you can afford powerfull enough device to be usable for 4 or 5 years. The waste is instead at the people that absolutly want the most powerfull device and change every one to two years, independently from obscolescence for general usage of their device.
too bad almost all of the devices in China that will have this chip won’t work in the US due to lack of radio frequency support. . . and they have a few companies putting out some pretty decent stuff at good prices. . .e.g. . . Zopo.
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