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In a bid to enable better applications with richer feature-set, leading-edge makers of smartphones, such as Apple or Samsung Electronics, install dual-core or even quad-core system-on-chips into their devices. By contrast, chief executive officer of Nokia Corp. believes that multi-core SoCs just waste battery life, but not improve devices.

"The so-called dual-core, quad-core mobile phones can only waste batteries, but not be useful for consumers all the time," said Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia, in an interview with Yangcheng Evening News.

In order to prove his point, Nokia has taken its Blown Away by Lumia competition to China, and offered 1000 yuan ($159 or €120) to those who were able to "beat" the company’s Nokia Lumia 900 smartphones in tasks that were important to contestants (who can choose the tasks themselves). According to Mr. Elop, it never lost to Apple iPhone or Google Android-based smartphones that have SoCs with two or more ARM general-purpose cores, reports UnwiredView web-site.

Given the fact that smartphones powered by multi-core SoCs are on the early stage of development, few applications can take advantage of several cores and not all combinations of operating systems and third-party apps benefit from several ARM cores in general. In many cases, multi-core SoCs means shorter batter life due to inefficient software. Moreover, in a lot of cases Nokia Lumia 900 powered by Qualcomm APQ8055 system on chip with one Scorpion/ARM Cortex-A8 clocked at 1.40GHz will beat multi-core offerings with lower clock-speed simply because software cannot take advantage of modern features, including many cores, NEON floating-point accelerators and so on.

What is important is that operating systems and applications are gradually gaining support for multi-core SoCs, therefore, those smartphones will get better over time and will support richer set of features. By contrast, Nokia's current Lumia's will not. But, in fact, Nokia Lumia smartphones with multi-core SoCs are imminent: once Microsoft releases Windows Phone 8 with support for appropriate chips, Nokia will release Lumia with dual-core or even quad-core microprocessors.

Tags: Nokia, Lumia, Windows Phone, ARM, iPhone, Qualcomm, Android, Samsung

Discussion

Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 04/06/12 02:55:25 PM
Latest comment: 04/09/12 03:41:08 PM

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1. 
It's true that WP is very smooth on a single-core chip, while an android phone needs a dual-core to be as smooth, but they have to adopt multi-core chips sooner rather than later.

Quad-core chips and HD displays are becoming the norm for high-end android phones. If MS and nokia want to grab market share in that segment, they should start supporting those things, even if they're overkill. Unfortunately, there are many buyers who only look at specs, not at how good a phone performs.
0 0 [Posted by: eddman  | Date: 04/06/12 02:55:25 PM]
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2. 
Come on NOKIA, don't be such idiot! I remember the same words about ARM processors and androids...
0 0 [Posted by: jijibu  | Date: 04/07/12 03:23:05 AM]
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3. 
wouldn't a chip whit 4 smaller and slower cores be more power efficient than a single high clocked core. because you can power gate the cores that are doing nothing and even turbo the active cores when others are in idle.
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 04/07/12 04:34:07 AM]
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4. 
the fact is that the WP7 OS does not support SMP at all,in contrast to Android which is based on smp-capable Linux kernel. So at the moment WP7 apps will not scale on a multicore processor.needless to say that's a big embarrassment to Nokia,the notion of "wasting battery" is only used to cover their weakness.
1 0 [Posted by: gnaw89  | Date: 04/09/12 07:45:10 AM]
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