Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa 8-core processor update to enable the function of all 8 cores may arrive in the form of a software update.The new update will allow for Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) to use all 8 cores simultaneously. Until now, the Exynos 5 Octa CPU functioned as a quad-core.
As reported by Gizchina Wednesday (Sept. 11), China based smartphone manufacturer Meizu announced an update for its MX3 smartphone to enable the processor’s 8 cores. The MX3 features Samsung’s own Exynos 5 Octa processor and Meizu suggests that the update will include a kernel/driver update for its Android OS, which is based on Linux.
This announcement from Meizu comes one day after Samsung revealed its plans to add HMP support to the 8 core CPU. “Power-efficient little cores can handle many significant workloads all on their own, so the workload is balanced within the system,” Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics said on Samsung’s official blog.
The 8 cores of Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa uses ARM big.LITTLE technology with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and a quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU. Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) will allow the Linux kernel's scheduler to tell the difference between the four A7 cores and the four A15 cores.
According to Android developer AdreiLux, the Linux kernel currently recognizes the Exynos 5 Octa's CPU cores as equals, causing issues with the system’s workload distribution. When completing tasks, the system should use the less power hungry A7 cores instead of the power consuming A15 cores.
Updating the kernel and drivers should result in performance and battery improvements and achieve the intended use of all 8 cores. “The point of the design is to meld the advantages of the A7 processor architectures, with its extreme power efficiency, with the A15 architecture, with extreme performance,” AdreiLux wrote in a post on XDA Developers.
Customers can expect the HMP solution for the Exynos Octa 5 processors from Samsung in Q4 of 2013. It’s likely that it will be rolled out in the form of a software update to owners of the octa-core variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4.