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ZTE Apache May Become First Eight-Core Smartphone

By - Source: China Times | B 51 comments

Samsung rumored to be working on an octo-core Galaxy S4.

The ZTE Apache could beat Samsung's Galaxy S4 to the title of first eight-core smartphone, according to a report.

According to China Times, ZTE is collaborating with MediaTek to release a flagship, octo-core device. Its current codename is military-inspired Apache. In addition to the extremely powerful processor, the report also says the smartphone will feature full HD display, as well as a 13-megapixel camera and 4G connectivity.

Previous speculation has suggested that Samsung's unannounced Galaxy S4 boasts eight cores. An official unveiling is apparently set for CES during January, 2013.

ZTE, known for its durable phones, is also purportedly working on the Android-powered ZTE Grand X Pro.

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  • 19 Hide
    aicom , November 26, 2012 10:09 PM
    Why are people obsessed with cores? 8 core phones simply don't make sense. The quad-core phones are already pushing that form factor to its thermal and power limits.
  • 12 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 10:26 PM
    freggoActually more cores at a lower frequency make more sense than fewer cores at a higher frequency.You can easily turn off cores that are not needed.


    Few programs are optimized for many core architectures. You can easily scale the clock frequencies on fewer cores, just sayin.
  • 11 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 10:25 PM
    This is deceptive. The big.little architecture only has 4 cores enabled at any given time...
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    deksman , November 26, 2012 10:06 PM
    And we still don't have 8 core laptops.
    Lol... Intel is content at milking existing quad core setups for a while even though we could have had them years before they actually 'debuted'.
    Sigh...

    Oh well, if at this rate computing capabilities of smartpones/tablets exceed laptops... I will hardly object.

    Meh... its just a matter of time before Capitalism goes to atom scale computers (even though technologically/resource wise it can already be done - its just 'cost prohibitive').
  • 19 Hide
    aicom , November 26, 2012 10:09 PM
    Why are people obsessed with cores? 8 core phones simply don't make sense. The quad-core phones are already pushing that form factor to its thermal and power limits.
  • 8 Hide
    aicom , November 26, 2012 10:16 PM
    deksmanAnd we still don't have 8 core laptops.Lol... Intel is content at milking existing quad core setups for a while even though we could have had them years before they actually 'debuted'

    It's the same reason we don't have an 8-core LGA 2011 CPU yet. Intel could make an 8-core laptop with current technology but you'd be looking at cores running at optimistically 1.2 GHz to fit in the 35/45W TDP limit. With cores that slow, the performance would be worse than with a 2 or 4 core with comparable TDP. Intel (and other processor vendors) find the right balance between core count and clock speed which makes sense for the current generation of applications.
  • 6 Hide
    freggo , November 26, 2012 10:25 PM
    aicomWhy are people obsessed with cores? 8 core phones simply don't make sense. The quad-core phones are already pushing that form factor to its thermal and power limits.


    Actually more cores at a lower frequency make more sense than fewer cores at a higher frequency.
    You can easily turn off cores that are not needed.

  • 11 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 10:25 PM
    This is deceptive. The big.little architecture only has 4 cores enabled at any given time...
  • 12 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 10:26 PM
    freggoActually more cores at a lower frequency make more sense than fewer cores at a higher frequency.You can easily turn off cores that are not needed.


    Few programs are optimized for many core architectures. You can easily scale the clock frequencies on fewer cores, just sayin.
  • 4 Hide
    chewy1963 , November 26, 2012 10:27 PM
    aicomIt's the same reason we don't have an 8-core LGA 2011 CPU yet. Intel could make an 8-core laptop with current technology but you'd be looking at cores running at optimistically 1.2 GHz to fit in the 35/45W TDP limit. With cores that slow, the performance would be worse than with a 2 or 4 core with comparable TDP. Intel (and other processor vendors) find the right balance between core count and clock speed which makes sense for the current generation of applications.


    It will be interesting to see if this applies to this 8 core phone too. Seems like it would need to run a REALLY slow clock to make it power/heat prohibitive for a phone form factor... 8 cores, sure, but at like 400 MHz.
  • 11 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 10:29 PM
    chewy1963It will be interesting to see if this applies to this 8 core phone too. Seems like it would need to run a REALLY slow clock to make it power/heat prohibitive for a phone form factor... 8 cores, sure, but at like 400 MHz.


    again, this will NOT BE RUNNING 8 CORES AT ONCE.

    Only 4 will be active at a time.
  • 1 Hide
    emperor piehead , November 26, 2012 10:30 PM
    As it is how many phone programs would even use 8 cores especially?
  • 4 Hide
    blazorthon , November 26, 2012 10:31 PM
    aicomIt's the same reason we don't have an 8-core LGA 2011 CPU yet. Intel could make an 8-core laptop with current technology but you'd be looking at cores running at optimistically 1.2 GHz to fit in the 35/45W TDP limit. With cores that slow, the performance would be worse than with a 2 or 4 core with comparable TDP. Intel (and other processor vendors) find the right balance between core count and clock speed which makes sense for the current generation of applications.


    We do have eight-core LGA 2011 CPUs. There are several LGA 2011 Xeons with eight cores. We don't have any i7s that I'm aware of with eight cores, but the Xeons don't not count because of that since you didn't specify otherwise.

    chewy1963It will be interesting to see if this applies to this 8 core phone too. Seems like it would need to run a REALLY slow clock to make it power/heat prohibitive for a phone form factor... 8 cores, sure, but at like 400 MHz.


    Actually, a process shrink and somewhat more power efficient architecture than current models is all that it would take. There'd be no need to use low frequencies for an eight-core phone CPU. Something like taking say a current quad-core, shrinking its process a node, and updating its architecture would give enough thermal and die area headroom for four more cores. Whether or not there's be good reason to do so is a much more complicated and questionable argument than whether or not it can be done.

    Regardless, none of that matters except in an educational sense here because you're all mistaken about how the architecture in the subject of the article works. As others have said, there won't normally be a situation where all eight cores are in use AFAIK.
  • 8 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 10:34 PM
    apparently people continue to speculate on this "eight" core phone.
    Do a little reading, eh? http://www.arm.com/products/processors/technologies/biglittleprocessing.php
  • 4 Hide
    aicom , November 26, 2012 10:50 PM
    blazorthonWe do have eight-core LGA 2011 CPUs. There are several LGA 2011 Xeons with eight cores. We don't have any i7s that I'm aware of with eight cores, but the Xeons don't not count because of that since you didn't specify otherwise.

    Oops, I meant to write eight-core i7 LGA 2011 CPUs.
  • 5 Hide
    blazorthon , November 26, 2012 11:10 PM
    coder543apparently people continue to speculate on this "eight" core phone.Do a little reading, eh? http://www.arm.com/products/proces [...] essing.php


    Yeah, calling it an eight-core CPU is similar calling Tegra 3 a five-core CPU from what I've read. It's technically correct, but can be incredibly misleading.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 26, 2012 11:20 PM
    For Ray tracing the more cores the better, And HPC (supercomputers) use linux and their OSs can deal with a lot more than 8 cores! what would be nice, is for AMD to take the SeaMicro interconnect Tech and try to integrate that on a CPU with a large number of low power ARM cores and an AMD GPU. that would make for an interesting APU! Tablets would be the first, while smart phones could have 8 or less, and then the laptop market for a modular type of CPU, the more computing power a computer needs the more ARM cores the APU gets!
  • 9 Hide
    X-Nemesis , November 26, 2012 11:26 PM
    Hmmm, I'll trade you 4 cores for longer battery life!!!
  • 10 Hide
    coder543 , November 26, 2012 11:27 PM
    EnoughCoresForAllFor Ray tracing the more cores the better, And HPC (supercomputers) use linux and their OSs can deal with a lot more than 8 cores! what would be nice, is for AMD to take the SeaMicro interconnect Tech and try to integrate that on a CPU with a large number of low power ARM cores and an AMD GPU. that would make for an interesting APU! Tablets would be the first, while smart phones could have 8 or less, and then the laptop market for a modular type of CPU, the more computing power a computer needs the more ARM cores the APU gets!

    X-NemesisHmmm, I'll trade you 4 cores for longer battery life!!!


    does no one read comments? I feel extremely invisible.
  • 7 Hide
    blazorthon , November 26, 2012 11:58 PM
    coder543does no one read comments? I feel extremely invisible.


    Some people still seem to think that Tom's never publishes wrong and/or irrelevant and/or misleading articles and comment without reading the comments section as thus.
  • 7 Hide
    billyboy999 , November 27, 2012 1:03 AM
    coder543does no one read comments? I feel extremely invisible.

    I read your comments, actually looked up big.little, and learned something. Most people are lazy and just want to make witty comments bashing an 8-core phone.
    It's a cool idea, because it reminds me of hybrid cars. The only thing that would be cooler is if... both CPUs could be operational at the same time.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 27, 2012 1:26 AM
    More low power cores could be good on a phone, as long as there is the proper power saving software and the hardware supports advanced power gating, to turn each CPU off that is not needed! So what if a cell phone has 8 or more cores, if the phones OS can limit the maxium number of cores that can be turned on if the battery is low on charge! The more low power cores on a phone the more power steps the device can have to better match the changing load requirements of different software from 1 CPU on to 8 CPUs on!
    This could actually save power in the long run, through the better power usage granularity of having 8 steps as opposed to 4 steps, with 4 more power hungry CPUs, yes 8 cores that only draw a much power
    as 4 older cores would be better for overall power usage in lower power devices, more cores do no have to translate in to more power used!
  • 0 Hide
    intel4004 , November 27, 2012 1:57 AM
    So is that mean there will be a micro fan in smartphones?
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