Qualcomm calls eight-core processors a “dumb” idea

Does more processor cores mean a better user experience? Mobile processor vendor Qualcomm doesn’t think so; in fact, it thinks that’s a pretty dumb idea.

MediaTek, a fellow Taiwanese rival to Qualcomm, recently announced an octa-core ship it says will give customers better performance, through improved multi-tasking and reduced power consumption. In a roundtable with Taiwanese media on Tuesday, Anand Chandrasekher, Qualcomm’s senior vice-president, made clear his company would not be following this example.

“We don’t do dumb things,” said Chandrasekher.

Qualcomm’s focus, said Chandrasekher, is to deliver the best experience for the customer, based on understanding the wants and needs of the customer and engineering the right product. It’s about a modern experience, great battery life and fantastic multimedia in a fashionable package, with options at different price points.

“I go back to what I said: it’s not about cores. When you can’t engineer a product that meets the consumers’ expectations, maybe that’s when you resort to simply throwing cores together that is the equivalent of throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks,” said Chandrasekher. “That’s a dumb way to do it, and I think our engineers aren’t dumb.”

It’s not just about cores, said Chandrasekher, it’s about all those elements in balance.

“We don’t believe the best experience is defined by the number of cores . That’s actually a very silly way to think about delivering the capabilities that the consumer needs,” said Chandrasekher. “What do I think about my competitor’s octo-core? I’m not a huge fan of what they are doing— I personally don’t think it is going to be very successful in the marketplace. You can’t take eight lawnmower engines, put them together and now claim you have an eight-cylinder Ferrari. It just doesn’t make sense.”

For it’s part, MediaTek told PCWorld that its octa-core processor, slated for a Q4 launch, is a breakthrough in technology and innovation.

“[The chip] has enhanced multi-tasking capabilities, and at the same time will also greatly improve the experience of your applications,” said MediaTek.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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