Big.Little Processing Power Makes Tablets More Performant
Back at CES, Samsung introduced a new chip called the Exynos 5 Octa which promised to bring better performance and help on power consumption, which in turn means a battery lasting longer. This is mainly aimed at tablets which are expected to run for hours on end yet people want to use them for all sorts of heavy tasks like watching movies and playing 3D games. The Exynos 5 Octa uses the concept of Big.Little computing, which is the idea that the main processor is actually two separate sets of cores, with a total of height cores. In the case of this particular system, four of which make the Cortex A15 and is the 'big' part, the other being the Cortex A7, or the 'little' part.
This ARM chip is fairly ingenious because with the right software, a tablet could switch which cores it would use based on the performance that it needs. If the user is doing a resource intensive task such as playing a demanding video game, the big cores would be used. If you simply browse the web then you do not need as much power, and then the little cores would be used. This is a great way to save on battery power yet still have the ability to provide enough performance for the most demanding tasks.
Now Samsung has built a reference tablet that uses this new chip and is showing it up at the Mobile World Congress. Engadget has a video which illustrates how the two sets of cores work in real life situations. This technology has been researched for around two years now and is only recently being put into actual hardware. Soon, all tablets may start moving to this model.