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Tablet, Phone Software Developers Face Multicore Challenge

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ARM Cortex-A5 processor

Multicore ARM processors are capable of shutting down cores to save power.


Industry experts at the recent Linley Tech Processor conference said that writing applications for mobile devices could become more challenging as central processing units (CPUs) and hardware accelerators are added to mobile chips.

Linley Group's Linley Gwennap says that much software development work is needed to extract better performance out of multicore chips. "What we're seeing on the phone side is applications having to change to use the second CPU," Gwennap says. "It's going to take some time before the software is ready for that." He says the latest mobile operating systems are partly ready for dual CPUs, which will make it easier for programmers, but applications development becomes more problematic as more cores are added to mobile chips.

Adjusting for power consumption also is a major issue on mobile systems. "The software is very important in terms of driving power consumption," Gwennap says. "Everybody says 'oh, is my CPU good, is my CPU not good,' but it's what the software does with the CPU that makes a huge difference."

From Computerworld
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