updated 12:30 am EDT, Tue September 10, 2013
New revision should increase efficiency, better distribute processing load
Samsung Electronics today announced its Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) solution for the Exynos 5 Octa to fully maximize the benefits of the ARM "big.LITTLE" technology with a single processor having four fast cores, and four slower ones. The HMP capability gives system-level designers the ability to develop solutions for high-performance and low-power to carry out tasks such as 3D gaming, complex augmented reality and advanced web browsing.
HMP enables the use of all physical cores at the same time in a big.LITTLE-equipped chip, like the Exynos 5 Octa. Software threads with high priority or high computational intensity can be allocated to the 'big' Cortex-A15 cores, while threads with less priority or which are less computationally intensive can be performed by the 'LITTLE' Cortex-A7 cores, theoretically enabling a more responsive, lower-energy system to be built than had HMP not been utilized.
New multi-processing software controls the scheduling of threads of execution to the appropriate core. In earlier versions of the big.LITTLE software, the whole processor workload is moved up to the 'big' core or down to the 'LITTLE' core based on the measured work load, which may not lead to optimal processor assignment. Study over time and analysis of diverse use case scenarios has enabled Samsung to offer the HMP solution, while still managing power levels and minimizing impact on the battery.
The HMP solution for Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa application processors will be available to customers in the fourth quarter of 2013. It is unknown what real-world effect the new multi-core "traffic manager" will have, or if the update will incur any charge.