Qualcomm calls out eight-core processors as 'dumb'

Rival MediaTek is planning on releasing its own eight-core processor in the fourth quarter

Eight-core processors are "dumb," as the consumer wants an experience that comes from more than just throwing cores together, a Qualcomm executive said, referring to new eight-core chips announced recently.

"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," the company's senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher said, according to a transcript of his comments to Taiwan media provided on Friday.

Qualcomm focuses on giving consumers a good experience, which requires first good modems, next long battery life, and then an affordable price point, he added. Simply throwing cores together is the equivalent of throwing spaghetti against the wall, and seeing what sticks, he added.

The comments follow a launch by rival MediaTek of its new octa-core chip that it claims will offer better performance over competing processors.

Asked whether Qualcomm would one day launch its own octa-core processor, Chandrasekher said, "We don't do dumb things."

"When you can't engineer a product that meets the consumers' expectations, maybe that's when you resort to simply throwing cores together," he said, adding "That's a dumb way to do it, and I think our engineers aren't dumb."

MediaTek declined to comment. The company's octa-core processor will arrive in this year's fourth quarter. It differs from other octa-core processors in that it can use all eight cores simultaneously, according to MediaTek. The company claims this will help reduce the chip's power consumption, while improving its stability in processing applications.

In the past, Qualcomm has been vocal in defending its products from rival chips boasting more cores.

Both MediaTek and Qualcomm are competing to grab a bigger share of the chip market for smartphones and tablets by releasing new chips for both high and lower-end devices. Qualcomm has been riding on the success of its Snapdragon chips, which can be found in the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, and the new Nexus 7 tablet from Google and Asus.

MediaTek chips are being used by vendors including Acer, Lenovo, and local Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi.

Samsung has also come out with an octa-core processor. Last month, it unveiled an updated eight-core chip with a higher clock speed and better GPU.

Tags consumer electronicsMediaTekqualcommsmartphonesComponentsprocessors

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service

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