"How much is your Antutu score?" This used to be a relevant question for mobile SoC developers, but not any longer!
Over the last few years, the application processor domain, has seen a race with respect to the number of cores in a system-on-chip (SoC). You will easily recall marketing for "dual core", then it was "quad core", followed by "octa core" (8), big.LITTLE, and even up to 10 cores. A similar story applies for GPUs, which has been mainly fueled by the smartphone mobile market.
However, the landscape is changing in several ways and increasing numbers of cores isn't necessarily the goal. Power considerations are gaining relevance as a factor for chipset makers to select an application processor chipset from a supplier, due to the following:
- Battery life, especially for consumer devices, which is further accentuated by the recent diversification of handheld products/gadgets like smartwatches.
- Thermal is another consideration, as it directly impacts the performance, and cost of the PPA (Performance Power Area of a SoC). In addition, heat issues are impacting the ease of silicon implementation and the durability of the chip itself.