Chipzilla is claiming that not enough work is being done to adapt the Android operating system to work on dual core CPUs. Intel is currently having a crack at entering the market with its single-core Medfield Atom processors and running Android on multi-core chips might be a disadvantage.
Mike Bell, general manager of Intel’s mobile and communications group, said that in mobile power use was constrained and multi-core chews up a lot of juice. He told the Inquirer that if you did not have to worry about power, multiple cores would make a lot of sense. Namely, you can run the cores full out and heavily load them if the operating system has a good thread scheduler.
But when it comes to Android, things like thread scheduling and thread affinity are not there and when the operating system goes to do a single task, a lot of other stuff stops. Bell said that moving into multiple cores on Android means that Intel has to put a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it.
Its other problem is that more cores generate too much heat. At the moment with the multiple core implementations in the market, "it isn’t obvious to me you really get the advantage for the size and the cost of what’s going into that part", Bell said.
Chipzilla has not developed a multi-core Atom processor but it is tipped to come up with one if only for marketing reasons. In the meantime it has to work with Android to make sure that it can use it properly.