One of the most voiced criticisms we hear of multi-core mobile processors, in addition to “why do you even need that much processing power on a smartphone, anyway”, is that all the cores in the world aren’t going to do much for performance when software isn’t taking full advantage of them. Intel, a relative newbie to the Android scene with its first-such phones out this year, has recently been speaking-out along that same line, accusing Android of not doing a very good job at efficiently making use of multi-core processors, and fingering SoC manufacturers as the ones who should be making the effort to make things work better.
According to Intel, Android’s thread scheduler just isn’t up to the task of getting the best performance out of the new quad-core (and to a lesser extent, dual-core) chips we’re seeing. Since the manufacturers of those components should be the ones capable of getting the highest performance out of them, Intel thinks that the companies behind these chips should be the ones contributing the necessary improvements to the Android source tree, but “they just haven’t bothered to do it”.
Sure, some of this might just be a backhanded way for Intel to congratulate itself on its own work at improving thread performance, but we agree that someone needs to be taking a closer look at Android multi-core support. According to the company, some of the phones from other manufacturers which it’s tested end up performing worse when multiple cores are enabled. It doesn’t name names, but if that’s true at all, it seems like a pretty damning assessment of Android’s current relationship with multi-core chips.