Graphics specialist Nvidia has published a white paper calling out the benefits of multi-core CPUs in mobile devices which the company says can do “more work faster, and at lower power, than their single core predecessors.”
Nvidia used the white paper (PDF) to draw parallels with desktop computing five years ago and said that consumers are using mobile devices “much like they use their PC and expect a similar level of capabilities.” Tasks such as HD video playback, streaming video and audio, multitasking, browsing, 3D gaming and 3D interfaces are “stretching the capabilities of single core mobile processors,” they said.
It’s not clear who Nvidia is meant to convince with the whitepaper since the firm’s Tegra mobile parts integrate licensed ARM core CPUs and ARM’s Cortex-A9 dual-core CPUs are the current focus of chipmaker efforts across the board to integrate into components that will appear in the next generation of smartphones.
Nvidia used the paper to claim that the firm’s ARMN Cortex A9-equipped Tegra is “the world’s most advanced mobile processor built from the ground up as a heterogeneous multi-core SoC.” Tegra reportedly incorporates several other “purpose built” cores to handle audio, video and graphics. The trend of incorporating such multimedia accelerator cores is again widespread among ARM licensee chipmakers such as Qualcomm and Samsung.
However Nvidia provided an interesting infographic which explains how a mobile device may split up the computing tasks associated with browsing a web page across multiple CPU cores. The firm also pointed out that the Tegra ultra low power GeForce GPU is able to accelerate Flash processing work and thereby relieve the CPUs of much of the grunt work.
Mobile gaming benchmarks showed that Nvidia’s Tegra 2 with two cores was able to play Quake with Pandora radio streaming in the background 60 per cent faster than using a single core.
“Mobile operating systems such as Android, Windows CE, and Symbian are capable of operating in a multi-core environment, and have the features required to efficiently harness the multiple processing cores of the underlying hardware.”
“Also, popular Web browsers and most PC games are already multithreaded, and users will see tremendous improvements in performance if these applications are ported to run on multi-core CPU-based mobile processors,” they concluded.