Intel has brazenly announced that dual-core support from the Android operating system is so bad that having a second core is a detriment. Last year some Android smartphones did ship with dual-core processors before the operating system actually supported dual-cores. Dual-core support came with Android 2.3.4 in April of 2011.
Intel is now claiming that it has tested Android with dual-core processors using Android 4.0 ICS and determined that having dual-cores is of little benefit most of the time. Intel also claims that its testing showed the dual cores could be detrimental to performance. The conclusion according to Intel’s Mike Bell is that the Android thread scheduler isn’t ready for multi-core processors.
Bell even claims that in Intel testing, multi-core implementations of Android ran slower than a single core at times. However, Intel didn’t specifically say what processor was tested, what device, or how exactly it tested the processor. We always have to take these back-and-forth accusations among manufacturers with a big grain of salt.
Bell said, “If you are in a non-power constrained case, I think multiple cores make a lot of sense because you can run the cores full out, you can actually heavily load them and/or if the operating system has a good thread scheduler. A lot of stuff we are dealing with, thread scheduling and thread affinity, isn’t there yet and on top of that, largely when the operating system goes to do a single task, a lot of other stuff stops. So as we move to multiple cores, we’re actually putting a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it.”