KOREAN CHIPMAKER Samsung has announced its first foray into the giddy world of heterogeneous multi-processing (HMP) by updating its Exynos 5 Octa system on chip (SoC), allowing all eight cores to be used simultaneously for the first time.
The Samsung multi-processor chip will incorporate ARM Big Little technology that manages tasks between processor cores of different sizes - small cores for simple tasks and the more powerful cores for more demanding tasks. This enables more effective power management - if a device is just running background tasks, the big cores can power down to save power.
"It's usually assumed that the big CPU will do all the performance-critical work, however power-efficient little cores can handle many significant workloads all on their own, so the workload is balanced within the system," said Samsung Electronics VP of system LSI marketing Taehoon Kim.
The Samsung software implementation to take advantage of the Big Little architecture proposes to extend the possibilities for mobile computing including, tantalisingly, "complex augmented reality".
Augmented reality has seen a resurgence of interest recently because of this kind of advance, making it more practical, not to mention more realistic, than during the first wave of silly helmets a decade ago. Other suggested uses mentioned include 3D gaming and advanced web browsing.
"ARM Big Little multi-processing technology delivers the highest performance and efficiency across the widest range of workloads," said ARM Processor Division VP of Strategy and Marketing Noel Hurley.
"We welcome Samsung's continued commitment to deploying the leading-edge technology on their latest chips."
With a fourth quarter release date, you can expect to see these souped-up processors in devices soon. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ