(Real) 8-core phones may not perform as well as quad-core phones, says Digitimes

8 may be too many

Today we had Strategy Analytics suggest Windows Phone needs to step up to Octa-core processor support to properly address the premium market.

Interestingly today we also had a report from Digitimes suggesting that while chipset vendors are slowly stepping up to the plate with 8-core solutions, concerns remains that “8-core solutions may not be better than quad-core solutions in terms of total performance and power consumption…”

They note that Samsung has already delivered an 8-core solution with their Exynos 5 and MediaTek and HiSilicon are expected to release their 8-core CPUs in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Given that it is unlikely Android is optimised to take advantage of such massive multi-threading opportunities, much of this hardware will be wasted draining batteries unnecessarily.

Digitimes’s sources conclude that while the 8-core solutions might turn out to be strong contenders in the market, quad-core devices will continue to be the mainstream over the next 1-2 years.

Windows Phone is of course at present stuck on dual-core processors, but we expect the OS to advance onto quad-core chipsets by the middle of Q4 2013. While Windows Phone may therefore lose the marketing battle against octacore phones, it is likely our handsets will perform better and have better battery life due to being optimised for the hardware it runs on.

Of course we can always pretend, like Motorola, that our dual-core phones are actually octacore, and have the best of both worlds, but then unlike Google we do have some standards.

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