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TI: Dual-Core OMAP5 Faster Than Quad-Core Cortex A9

In a video released prior to the opening of the Mobile World Congress, TI compares its OMAP5 chip to a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and shows that two cores can outrun four cores, at least in loading web pages.

The OMAP5 processor completed the test run in 95 seconds, while the "commercial" and "competing" quad-core required 201 seconds. While Qualcomm did not mention the name of the competing processor we assume that it was Nvidia's Tegra 4-Plus-1, which is the only quad-core Cortex-A9 chip currently available. Of course, the demonstration was in TI's favor, as the A15 is promised by ARM to deliver roughly twice the per-watt and per-clock performance as the A9, which suggests that it will outperform A9 chips especially in single- and dual-thread applications such as web browsing. The demonstrated OMAP5 chip was running at only 800 MHz, while the quad-core was clocked at 1.3 GHz. According to the manufacturer commercial OMAP5 processor may reach clock speeds of up to 2.5 GHz.

However, it appears that TI has found additional ways to optimize the multithreading performance as an MP3 file was played and a video was downloaded during the web page loading test. We will have to wait for actual phones to be available to determine the real-world performance of the OMAP5, but 2012 shapes up to be an interesting year for smartphone processors - a new entry from Intel with just one core, plenty of dual-cores as well as a few quad-cores from Nvidia, Samsung and Qualcomm.

  • I just don't see why we need quad cores in phones. Maybe when they use less battery, but now dual cores are just fine and fast(as this proves).

    Who does super intensive multitasking important stuff on their phone that needs a quad core anyways?
    Reply
  • ap3x
    Hope this does not surprise anyone although this will be short term as new revs of quads come out. The only thing that is surprising here is that the performance was more than double for the dual core. Could that be partially due to a non-optimized application.

    TI has a long history of really solid engineering.
    Reply
  • ap3x
    TristanBI just don't see why we need quad cores in phones. Maybe when they use less battery, but now dual cores are just fine and fast(as this proves).Who does super intensive multitasking important stuff on their phone that needs a quad core anyways?
    Exactly....I agree completely. I would be surprised if 25% of the applications used more than 1 core on a mobile device and if they did use more than that we would probably have much less battery life.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    TristanBI just don't see why we need quad cores in phones. Maybe when they use less battery, but now dual cores are just fine and fast(as this proves).OMAP5 won't be available in devices before Q4 2012. For now quad-core Cortex A9 based SOC's provide the best performance for mobile devices, and if implemented well (ie Tegra 3) it can do so while providing improved idle batter life.
    Reply
  • dirian
    Thats a very short sighted comment.. Its seems obvious to me that while smart phones and tablets are Nvidias current target they are pushing speed and cores so that along with Windows 8 ARM, they can become a player in the CPU biz and move into desktop / laptop space. Seeing as how Intel will likely never give them an x86 license this is about as good as it gets for them.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    ap3xExactly....I agree completely. I would be surprised if 25% of the applications used more than 1 core on a mobile device and if they did use more than that we would probably have much less battery life.It's difficult to draw a direct comparison to dual-core devices, but at least with Tegra 3, battery life doesn't seem to be much of a concern. Aanadtech did a pretty thorough review of the Transformer Prime, and even under load battery life remains at least on par with dual core devices, all while improving avg performance:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5163/asus-eee-pad-transformer-prime-nvidia-tegra-3-review/1
    These are battery life updates that were published later:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5178/an-update-on-transformer-prime-battery-life-wifi-issueshttp://www.anandtech.com/show/5175/asus-transformer-prime-followup/3
    Reply
  • aznshinobi
    ARM better step up its game. I'm starting to lose hope in them, specially with there dismissing of Intel as competition.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    TristanBI just don't see why we need quad cores in phones. Maybe when they use less battery, but now dual cores are just fine and fast(as this proves).Who does super intensive multitasking important stuff on their phone that needs a quad core anyways?If you're talking strictly about today, this year, 2012, I would completely agree with you. Here's why:
    -Are applications even written to utilize more than 1 core?
    -Do most users multi-task enough on their smartphones to justify a need for quad core? No
    -Can Quad-core mobile phones be a useful thing when plugged into a docking station and basically used as a computer on its own? Yes. Are we there yet? No. The Atrix was released about a year ago, and there has been little competition for it. The majority of the people won't care until the iPhone allows this type of support, and Android users will catch on. I think the intent here, more or less is to make a phone powerful enough to "run Crysis" on your smartphone, anytime, anywhere, any docking station without having to carry around a laptop. Personally, I'd like to see that.
    -Is battery life decent enough to run so many applications at once? Only on the Droid RAZR MAXX, but that's only a dual core
    -Are screens actually big enough to spend enough time multi-tasking on them? No, but that may change if/when phones the size of the Galaxy Note become more popular. Steve Jobs hated larger sized phones, so I don't see something of that size coming to the iPhone, and again, most people won't catch onto that since it's not on the iPhone.
    I do realize Android is now more widely used than the iPhone, now, but iPhone users seemingly always want to hop onto the next Apple trend. Android/Google users, not so much, or so it seems.
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    Now put OMAP 5 in the new TI calculators. I'm tired of 12MHZ 68000 chips in $200 calculators
    Reply
  • media_wonder
    i dont understand phones nowadays, its like lets put in quad cores and have huge screens so they are basically tables in your pocket (if you can even put them in your pocket), what are you trying to do play crysis on your phone? lmao.
    Reply