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ARM A9  (Source: CNET News)
A9 can go all the way up to quad-core for smartphones

The smartphone world is filled with handsets running ARM processors. Many of the most popular smartphones around including the iPhone 3G S and the new Palm Pre run ARM-based processors. A new ARM processor architecture is due to hit next year that will greatly increase the performance that smartphones offer.

The new processor is the ARM Cortex-A9. The current Cortex-A8 used on devices like the Palm Pre and is a single-core processor. The A9 set to debut early in 2010 is a dual-core processor. ARM says that while the new A9 architecture is a dual-core chip, it will still offer users increased battery life in daily usage compared to current single-core ARM processors.

The reason the processor can offer significantly higher performance and still give better battery life is due to the construction of the new A9. The A9 will be built using a 45nm process whereas the current A8 uses a 65nm process.

ARM wireless segment manager James Bruce told CNET News, "You'll definitely see handsets shipping with a dual-core A9 in 2010." He continues saying, "the A8 is just a single core while the A9 will be dual-core, all the way up to quad-core to give smartphones an even bigger performance boost."

The new A9 processor operates inside the 300-milliwatt power envelope that is the golden rule in the mobile phone industry. By comparison, the wildly popular Intel Atom processor needs 2,000 milliwatts, but future Atom versions codenamed Moorestown will bring Atom power levels to the realm of smartphone usability.

Other than performance improvements of compared to that of the A8, the A9 will also allow smartphones to support 1080p video along with HD video recording and playback.



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multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 12:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not ragging on a certain company/product here.. (ok I am), but what good is multi-core when you cannot multitask?

I know there are benefits, but the ability to multitask is the big one.




RE: multicore
By FITCamaro on 6/16/2009 12:53:58 PM , Rating: 5
I think the Pre can multitask. And even if you can only run one app at a time, the phone is doing more than one thing at a time. Besides there's always those things called threads. Write multi-threaded applications for phones.


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 1:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
The Pre can multitask, I was talking about the iPhone.. I also thought of multithreading, but as I stated the biggest benefit of multicore in a normal user environment is multitasking. Rarely will a single desktop multithreaded app bring more than one core to its knees, most of the time the load is balanced along both cores.

My point here is that this could be a big advantage of WebOS and Windows mobile, as the iPhone OS was not designed with multitasking in mind, and I do not see how they could go back and enable it on old devices, because there must have been a reason to implement that kind of limitation in the first place.


RE: multicore
By TomZ on 6/16/2009 1:16:41 PM , Rating: 3
Even though the iPhone only allows one application to be active at a time, there are lots of operating system tasks that are also active. For example, networking, call management, etc. Therefore, the iPhone and its OS is already multitasking (time-slicing in that case), even though the user is constrained to just use one app at a time. And whether those multiple tasks are assigned to one core or multiple cores is mostly a performance question.


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 1:30:39 PM , Rating: 3
How much overhead do you really think these operating system tasks require though? So of course they could make use of it, but will it result in an increase in speed? I have my doubts.

I think my real question here is, how will this affect Apple going forward? All of the big 4 (let alone Apple) are going to have trouble going forward with their apps stores and compatibility between devices. Will Apple be forced to take the approach of Google, and have version specific applications? Or will Apple merely not allow multi threaded applications and have their own form of load balancing to deal with new devices that are multicore?

I'm just wondering that's all.. I'm really interesting on how all four App stores will deal with this.


RE: multicore
By TomZ on 6/16/2009 1:34:32 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure what you're getting at. Does iPhone prohibit multi-threaded apps? I thought the restriction was one app at a time. Multi-threaded apps will just run faster with multiple cores, that's all. That's the same as we have with desktop PCs.

One thing that will be interesting, I can guarantee, is that if you develop a multi-threaded app on a single core machine, then later run it on a multi-core machine, you are probably going to find threading bugs in your original code.


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 3:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Misinformation on my part =/ I thought the iPhone did prohibit multithreaded apps, which never made sense to me.

I noticed that a lot of iPhone devs make use of asynchronous thread calls and i figured it was because of some kind of limitation with multithreading.
quote:
One thing that will be interesting, I can guarantee, is that if you develop a multi-threaded app on a single core machine, then later run it on a multi-core machine, you are probably going to find threading bugs in your original code.
Without a doubt.. I remember having to set the processor affinity on many Windows apps when dualcore was first released because of the reasons you described.


RE: multicore
By cparka23 on 6/16/2009 5:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
The processor uses an in-order architecture. Adding an extra core will probably do more to prevent bottlenecks than multithreading alone.


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 8:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
No, its not.. Unlike its predecessors, the Cortex A9 is an out of order processor and from what I have read, it does so very aggressively.


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 1:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
ugg can't believe i said that, obviously having more than one core gives you the the ability to execute multiple threads which always an advantage.. but right now I can only see this being implemented in games, I find it would be a waste of time designing a multithreaded app that would probably run almost as fast as a non multithreaded app. Its not like it takes that much horsepower to run google maps.


RE: multicore
By TomZ on 6/16/2009 1:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're still missing the point. Performance is not the only reason to make an application multithreaded. Another reason is responsiveness. For example, you mentioned google maps, and that is a good example. That kind of app needs to at the same time handle user interaction without delay and communicate with the server. For example, when it is fetching data from the server, its GUI still needs to be responsive to user interaction during the communication round trip.

Not to mention all the OS tasks that are also running at the same time to support the application...


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 3:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
That was kind of the point of my second post i.e I was correcting myself. While your example makes sense, the penalty of having to wait for the action to complete may not even be noticeable to the user, especially when (using your example) you probably need that fetched data to continue anyways. Its not like the gui will freeze because you are making a call to the server. I see more of an advantage in say caching data needed in the next step while making the call to fetch data from the server. Even then, the difference would probably negligence, but it would require much more coding effort.

Many windows apps are still do not make use of multiple threads for this very reason.


RE: multicore
By Shadowself on 6/16/2009 2:29:10 PM , Rating: 3
On the iPhone, while Ap store applications cannot multitask (i.e., you cannot have multiple Ap store applications running concurrently) you definitely can have more than one application running concurrently. You certainly can have the iPod application running while surfing in the iPhone's version of Safari or while your checking/downloading/reading your email.

I suspect that even Apple will get off their buts and allow multitasking Ap store applications once this new core ships.


RE: multicore
By TomZ on 6/16/2009 2:48:23 PM , Rating: 5
It seems likely that the single-app limitation was designed to not expose performance and/or battery life issues with the current iPhone hardware.


RE: multicore
By DotNetGuru on 6/16/2009 3:11:02 PM , Rating: 5
Apple's vision for multi-tasking on the iPhone: "Just buy two iPhones"


RE: multicore
By Sazar on 6/16/2009 4:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you to a degree.

I am not sure why Apple doesn't open the phone up a little bit.

The only item I can really multi-task with is the iPod application, running it in the background while browsing the web or checking my mail or facebook or whatever else.

I would LOVE to be able to do the same with Pandora or Orb running in the background and not having to relaunch the applications everytime I switch between them.

I am assuming it has to do with memory management and overall smoothness of the OS. However, I feel if the next iPhone expected in 2010 (assumed, based on the current release schedule) comes with a dual-core proc AND more memory, we may indeed see a lot more multi-tasking available.


RE: multicore
By psychobriggsy on 6/16/2009 5:27:03 PM , Rating: 3
The iPhone OS, being built upon Mac OS X, fully supports multitasking - indeed the jailbreaked iPhones have full multitasking capability. However Apple have restricted multitasking on the iPhone, and instead forced applications to have incredibly quick state-saving and quit behaviour, and an appearance of loading instantly. This is good for all those applications that you don't need running in the background, but sucks for, e.g., streaming audio.

Of course the iPhone OS allows the iPod software to multitask, as well as the background notification handler, and the springboard launcher, and about a dozen other services. Quite why Apple didn't let people write lightweight background services is beyond me, it strikes me as rather dictatorial control over their platform.

Anyway, a dual-core A9 next year with 512MB RAM will be more powerful than some early PowerMacs with dual-G3s/G4s. No reason to not enable multitasking then, IMO.


RE: multicore
By eddieroolz on 6/16/2009 6:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's Apple. They'll charge you $20 to unlock the multitasking capability of your phone instead of giving it to you outright.


RE: multicore
By psonice on 6/17/2009 6:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
There are quality issues to consider with background services.

If an app leaks memory or hangs, it crashes or you force quit the thing and there's not much issue. If a background service starts leaking memory everything else gets affected and you're left wondering why and rebooting the phone every few hours. If it hangs in a way that leaves it taking 100% cpu time, if you're lucky you'll notice that everything is running slow and reboot the phone. If not, you'll be out of battery in an hour or so. Not good!

Another thing to consider: the phone has limited memory. A lot of apps use pretty much all of the memory available, especially games. If you're running half a dozen apps, you're not going to have the memory left to even launch those apps. Also, if you're running something that uses a fair bit of CPU, then launch a game, the speed is going to be poor. None of this is adding up to a good user experience..

I guess apple will want solid ways of dealing with these cases before allowing any kind of user multitasking. The pre presumably has ways of dealing with it, but then the pre has no real sdk and no real apps so far, just advanced web apps. It'll be interesting to see what the pre is like when they start allowing native apps.


RE: multicore
By MrBlastman on 6/16/2009 2:35:14 PM , Rating: 3
The CORE would disagree. I am surely certain that they are quite upset with their ARM rivals producing such a powerful new assembly.

I imagine that CORE K-Bot labs are retooling as we think... the ARM will pay for this...


RE: multicore
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/16/2009 3:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
Even if the main OS doesn't support multitasking, the other core(s) can be used by the device firmware to service HW interrupts, decode video, etc...

There's quite a bit of driver overhead in driving advanced HW acceleration like 3D graphics and video decode. That processing can be off loaded from the application processor.


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 3:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's quite a bit of driver overhead in driving advanced HW acceleration like 3D graphics and video decode. That processing can be off loaded from the application processor.
Depends on whether or not the CPU is the bottleneck. In the case of the iPhone, you are most likely correct, as ipod touchs have the ability to display more polys with the bumped up clockspeed while using the exact same GPU.


RE: multicore
By phatboye on 6/16/2009 4:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd figure that would be the point of adding multiple cores to the ARM CPU. Current mobile devices don't allow multitasking because the current hardware isn't fast enough to support it. With the addition of additional cores I'm sure future mobile OSes will have multitasking capabilities.


RE: multicore
By jmurbank on 6/16/2009 7:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not ragging on a certain company/product here.. (ok I am), but what good is multi-core when you cannot multitask? I know there are benefits, but the ability to multitask is the big one.

It all depends on the operating system if it can control the threads safely. Since threads are not always safe, embeds will not use them. Embeds require stability and reliability. If the A9 chip is able to separate the programs in memory, threading could be used safely. The A9 chip might be better in a netbook.

Like any multi-core processor. It gains more performance when multiple services are running. On the 80x86 side, a multi-core processor can get better battery usage by distributing drivers for hardware on separate processors. Intel calls this IRQ Balance.


Why?
By FITCamaro on 6/16/2009 11:58:16 AM , Rating: 2
Why do smart phones need to support 1080p playback and HD recording? I guess youtube videos might get better quality.

But I'm glad to see dual core processors coming to smart phones. Should increase their speed. Especially for processing rich internet content.




RE: Why?
By TomZ on 6/16/2009 12:00:36 PM , Rating: 3
Porn?


RE: Why?
By FingerMeElmo87 on 6/16/2009 2:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
Portable HD Porn??? second greatest idea since porn on VHS


RE: Why?
By amanojaku on 6/16/2009 12:10:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why do smart phones need to support 1080p playback and HD recording? I guess youtube videos might get better quality.
1080p recording probably so that you can transfer to a device connected to a large display. 1080p playback seems ridiculous, unless smartphones start including connections to external displays.


RE: Why?
By Don Tonino on 6/16/2009 3:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Some already do, I'm thinking of Nokia N95 but there are more out there. Not sure about the output resolutions so far, though.


RE: Why?
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 4:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
Does 1080p hardware encoding even exist for consumer desktop use (not GPU offloading but actually hardware encoders)? I know OTA capture cards have hardware encoders that support up to 1080i, but 1080p is a different beast altogether.

Playback seems far more likely as most mobile chips already have video decoding integrated, and manufacturers like HTC already have TV out via mini USB / external connector. The Omnia pro will also have it upon release.


RE: Why?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/16/2009 12:11:33 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe 1080p output to a TV or monitor with a cable/dock? The upcoming Zune HD can output 720p.

I have a 23" 1080p Samsung LCD TV mounted on the wall in my bedroom, but have no place to mount a DVD player. I could easily hook up an iPod touch or an iPhone running a Cortex-A9 processor and have it sitting behind the TV resting on the wall mount.


RE: Why?
By Funksultan on 6/16/2009 12:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Now picture an enhancement to bluetooth technology, and bluetooth-aware screens and suddenly the possibilities seem a lot cooler.

Walk into your friends house and play a video on the bigscreen from the iPhone in your pocket without having to take it out. Cool stuff.

On this topic, I'm curious to see what controls the 2010 prius has with a streaming device (i.e. iPhone). Can you just walk in the car and start issuing voice commands to the iPhone like the Ford connectivity?

"Play Artist, Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock"


RE: Why?
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 12:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
While I wish it were true, no wireless technology like that is feasible in the near future. Unless they make something that allows your TV to actually decode different video formats this just is not possible (i.e you would stream the file to the TV to do the decoding). Otherwise without a decoder on the TV, you would have to feed uncompressed video and audio to the TV, and the bandwidth just isnt there, not even close (even for 720P).


RE: Why?
By Granseth on 6/16/2009 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 3
Weel there is something out there
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_Home_Digital...
quote:
WHDI - Wireless Home Digital Interface sets a new standard for wireless high-definition video connectivity. It provides a high-quality, uncompressed wireless link which can support delivery of equivalent video data rates of up to 3Gbit/s (including uncompressed 1080p) in a 40 MHz channel in the 5 GHz unlicensed band, conforming to FCC regulations. Equivalent video data rates of up to 1.5Gbit/s (including uncompressed 1080i and 720p) can be delivered on a single 20 MHz channel in the 5 GHz unlicensed band, conforming to worldwide 5 GHz spectrum regulations. Range is beyond 100 feet (30 m), through walls, and latency is less than one millisecond.


RE: Why?
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 4:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, I stand corrected. Devices are even suppose to pop up this fall..


RE: Why?
By FingerMeElmo87 on 6/16/09, Rating: 0
Power envelopes, heat and performance.
By greylica on 6/16/2009 3:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting, a smartphone playing 1080P video, using 300 Milivats whereas Atom needs a Nvidia Chip to perform well.
Nvidia going to 55NM, ARM to 45NM, then, what can we expect if they join together to offer Ion like Based platforms as great HTPCs ?

O´leds or Led lit based TVs, + ARM + Nvidia = Perfect TVs, lower power consumption, with Internet Access, Games and more.

A dream ? Maybe, but such possibility is very, very interesting...




RE: Power envelopes, heat and performance.
By Belard on 6/16/2009 3:56:09 PM , Rating: 3
And just think, 10 years ago - most cell pones were mono and all they did was work as a phone and their batteries were heavier and bigger than todays phones.

20 years ago, the CPU/GPU of a good $2500 PC ($6000 if a Mac) couldn't touch touch this power. And these were 25lb 25mhz / 1~4mb computers.

30 years ago, a typical $1500 Apple II was 1mhz, 32~64K. You could fit about 30 iPhones into AppleII floppy drive alone. Lode Runner was state of the art monochrome game.


RE: Power envelopes, heat and performance.
By jmurbank on 6/16/2009 7:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
20 years ago, the CPU/GPU of a good $2500 PC ($6000 if a Mac) couldn't touch touch this power. And these were 25lb 25mhz / 1~4mb computers.

Twenty years ago, there was not any GPU. Sure there were graphics accelerators, but they were in its infancy. Also CPU were not clocked at 25 MHz. Maybe Motorola chips, but not Intel's. About ten years ago GPU just got started.


RE: Power envelopes, heat and performance.
By Belard on 6/17/2009 2:45:09 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Twenty years ago, there was not any GPU


Uh... GPU = Graphic Processing Unit. But yes, there has always been "graphic chips". Sure GPU was termed by Nvidia to describe their 3D Graphics chips. So the GPU term is valid. The Amiga was the first 16/32bit computer to have a dedicated video chip, rather than the CPU doing graphics.

The Macintosh is still "a" PC, as was/is the AppleII, Commodore64, Atari 400 and STs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPU

quote:
Also CPU were not clocked at 25 MHz. Maybe Motorola chips,


MC or Intel - 20 years ago, we had 25mhz CPUs. If you want to be technical, MC 680x0 are double clocked internally. CPUs were based on their system clock. My 1990 Amiga 3000 had a retail price of $2500 with a 25mhz/50mbHD/5mb RAM. (4 slots, no modem, no CD-ROM drive)

The 80386 was at 25mhz in 1987, typically found in high end Compaq & IBM PS/2 computers ($5000+) as was the MC68030 for Macs, Amigas and Atari computers (These had GUIs) which added about $1000~1500 to the price of a computer compared to the 8~16mhz computers. IE: Amiga2000 @ 7mhz was about $1200 ($500 for the A500). With 68030 card, the A2000/2500 was closer to $2000+ until the A3000 was released.

So yeah... when someone complains about expensive computers, I laugh at them. I paid $280 for a 5.25" 320K floppy drive... its bigger & heavier than my dualcore Thinkpad.

What $600 got you:
1989: Amiga 500: 7mhz CPU / 1mb / 880k Floppy / 3096 colors (640x200)/ RGB output.
(You paid $300 for a 13" monitor, $100 for a 1200 modem - this was the "cheap" affordable computers of the 80s)

2009: Lenovo IdeaPad Y550: 2000Mhz Core2Duo / 4000mb / 320GB HD / DVD-R / Modem / Ethernet / 15" LED LCD monitor / 16 million colors in 1266x768. No floppy drive, $30 option.

Cool #1: 1987 Amiga computer CAN browse the web. Try that with a Mac Plus.

Cool #2: My 4yr old's computer is more powerful than what *I* had 5 years ago. (AMD64 2.2ghz / 8600GT)


By Belard on 6/18/2009 6:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
Rated down because someone doesn't like facts.

grow up.


1080p and 720p vs CPU not the issue ----
By carydc on 6/16/2009 5:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
even if the CPU and the GPU are able to handle the formats 702p and 1080p, they need cameras able to handle that and lenses able to do that are not small enough to provide solid pictures for a cell phone the size of an iPhone or Palm Pre.

That is the first issue.

Now if you do finally get a lens able to do this for a camera, then how would you ever stream a video stream of that bandwidth live on the current 3G or even early 4G networks? I do not think that is plausible even under the best of conditions.

Recording locally and then uploading is the next best option. But that is still not live. The jump to live reporting from a Cellphone at 720/1080p is not far off. Just need the bandwidth to handle the load and a lens that fits a mobile phone.

The Pre is able to do the 720p now with the CPU. Just the Camera is not set to do it yet. It is also only a 3 MP Camera. iPhone is also 3 MP and Video as well.

This will surely be interesting to see how this all flushes out.

Also I would love to see if Blackberry ever wakes up to the fact that graphic is where it is at and touch screens that really work...

Google G phones are on the way en mass... This is going to be a truly interesting year.

Now to see if I can get my dream. Pre and T91GO for mobile work.




By icanhascpu on 6/16/2009 7:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
1. Small lenses are perfectly capable of resolving 1080 16:10 resolution. Thats ~1.8 MP. Even tiny CCD/CMOS sensors lose little in the way of resolution resolving that small of a digital image. SnR is still low quality, but nothing as horrible as trying to force it to display 12MP (cough).

2. The REAL first issue is having bandwidth enough to toss 24-30 of those per second around. Firstly you would need a good deal of RAM, second you need a powerful CPU that can encode that much data in real time so the RAM buffer is not overrun. Then you might possibly be able to squeeze the size down far enough, to be pumped through a pipe to get onto your flash card.

3. Youre not getting local reporting streaming from a cellphone to the net for a couple reasons. 1) ISP will eat your face. 2) Phone batteries would melt your face because if you try to even consider appeasing the first reason, that would mean youre doing hardcore video compression, h264, and that IS far off to be inside a cellphone at any sort of acceptable framerate (24 being generally minimum).

For comparison, a i7 955, the most powerful quad core desktop CPU made today can compress 1080p at around only 30fps.


By icanhascpu on 6/16/2009 7:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
1. Small lenses are perfectly capable of resolving 1080 16:10 resolution. Thats ~1.8 MP. Even tiny CCD/CMOS sensors lose little in the way of resolution resolving that small of a digital image. SnR is still low quality, but nothing as horrible as trying to force it to display 12MP (cough).

2. The REAL first issue is having bandwidth enough to toss 24-30 of those per second around. Firstly you would need a good deal of RAM, second you need a powerful CPU that can encode that much data in real time so the RAM buffer is not overrun. Then you might possibly be able to squeeze the size down far enough, to be pumped through a pipe to get onto your flash card.

3. Youre not getting local reporting streaming from a cellphone to the net for a couple reasons. 1) ISP will eat your face. 2) Phone batteries would melt your face because if you try to even consider appeasing the first reason, that would mean youre doing hardcore video compression, h264, and that IS far off to be inside a cellphone at any sort of acceptable framerate (24 being generally minimum).

For comparison, a i7 955, the most powerful quad core desktop CPU made today can compress 1080p at around only 30fps.


By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 8:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
Just because the chip has the capability, does not mean any manufacturer will implement it. The ARM chip in my phone for example supports the use of a camera up to 10 MP, but not one phone utilizing this chip comes even close (mine is only 3mp). The original Samsung Omnia which also uses the same arm processor only has a 5MP camera which is the most I've seen. I'm sure the iphone also supports a higher resolution camera, just the actual parts to make use of these features are far too expensive to implement.

I also would not hold your breath on 720p capture for the pre either. The OMAP3430 which the pre uses only supports video encode/decode of 480p.. not to mention yet to be released phones with faster cortex A8 processors can only capture 720p @ 24FPS.


how does it compare
By Mojo the Monkey on 6/16/2009 3:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
How would this compare the dual core chip in T-mobile's G1?

I believe it is running on the Qualcomm dual-core MSM7201A chipset.




RE: how does it compare
By DLeRium on 6/17/2009 12:55:37 AM , Rating: 2
Qualcomm's MSM7200 series is ARM11. Cortex A8 is already a step ahead and the A9 will be another generation forward. Check out the new Omnia II by Samsung. They did the right thing by moving away from the old Qualcomm CPU. Anyhow, WinMo phones are powerhouses and those dual core 7200s are actually quite good. I suspect the A9s will have an insane GPU coupled with it though that will blow the ARM11s away.


Not to ctiticize.
By spazze on 6/16/2009 12:05:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The A9 set to debut early in 2009 is a dual-core processor.


2010 perhaps?




iPhone multitasking
By karthikrg on 6/17/2009 3:29:50 AM , Rating: 2
Apple's own applications do multi-task on the iPhone. It is only 3rd party applications that are not allowed to the excuse being "battery life"; but I guess it's more to do with not having a proper sandbox in place to prevent badly written 3rd party apps from bringing down the OS.. (That's one of the reasons the iPhone is so stable in the 1st place)

More than multi-core out of order execution should speed things up. Multi-core processors, unless they use fancy stuff like turning off/pushing to a low power state when inactive kinda power management.. will end up eating more peak power.. well even deeper pipelines, higher clocks and OO execution increase power.. but perhaps not to the extent that you add an entire core.. of course the 45nm process coupled with the fact that the phone does things faster.. may reduce the average power even if the phone consumes more peak power thanks to HUGI (hurry up and get idle) based calculations used to calculate average power..




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