Move Over Quad-Core; I Want 100 Cores In My Android Phone

By Sam Gibbs on at

It wasn’t that long ago we were getting excited by single-core chips topping 1GHz in our phones. Now we’ve got quad-core beasts on the way, but ZiiLabs (aka Creative) reckons you can never have enough cores and is touting a 100-core monstrosity optimised for Android 4.0, with apparently lower battery consumption.

It’s not all that different from the current line of ARM-based chips; it still has a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 clocked at 1.5GHz, but it couples that with 96 “StemCell Media Processing Cores”. Frankly, the ZMS-40 sounds a lot like the architecture of the PS3’s Cell processor, with multiple cores to take on individual roles. ZiiLabs is boasting true 1080p 3D video decoding (3840x1080), as well as support for HEVC (aka H.265) video -- all from a "low power" portable chip.

ZiiLabs is also touting Ice Cream Sandwich compatibility and supports screen resolutions up to 2560x1600. Battery savings come from the ability to run more cores at lower clock speeds, taking the pressure off the main Cortex-A9 heart – double the performance or half the battery consumption of the company’s previous ZMS-20 “50-core” chip.

I can’t see this making the internals of the mainstay of Android phones and tablets. But hell, with 100 cores it better deliver on its incredible performance boasts. In the world of multi-core bragging rights, the 100-core chip certainly trounces the poxy quad-core, even if the cores themselves aren’t directly comparable. [ZiiLabs via PhysOrg]