The Sony Xperia Tablet Z was officially revealed at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where it was well received. The 10.1-inch tablet is just 6.9mm thick, and weighs just 495g. It is also water proof and has a full HD display. Nice. But there is more, the device is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and Qualcomm is keen to highlight the new asynchronous multi-processing technology inside the Snapdragon that improves the battery life of the Xperia Tablet Z.
Before your eyes glaze over and you start mumbling “asynchronous multi-what technology”, don’t be put off by the techno-babble. It is really simple. In almost all dual-core and quad-core processors the CPU speed can be changed to conserve battery life. When the CPU isn’t doing much it runs at less GHz than when it is busy. Great. But the problem is that this speed control applies to the whole CPU. So if core #1 is running at 1.5GHz, so must be core #2 and so on. With the asynchronous multi-processing cleverness in the Snapdragon S4 Pro, each core can be clocked at a different speed. This means that if core #1 is doing something hard and is running at full speed but then a background task starts to do something simple, like update a widget, the second core fires up but not necessarily at the full 1.5GHz that core #1 is running at. This can be applied to all the cores.
According to Qualcomm, this eliminates the need for the big.LITTLE architecture that ARM is pushing and that will feature in the new Exynos 5 Octa. In one corner we have Samsung and ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture (which combines a set of Cortex A7 cores with a set of Cortex A15 cores and switches between them depending on the load). In the other corner Qualcomm have come out fighting with asynchronous multi-processing. Which is better? Which delivers the best battery life / performance ratio? As of yet this is unknown until some real tests and benchmarks can be run on these devices.
In the video below Travis Lanier of Qualcomm explains the benefits of the asynchronous multi-processing technology inside Snapdragon Processors, powering the Sony Xperia Tablet Z.
Are you a fan of the Qualcomm Snapdragon or the Samsung Exynos range. Let me know in a comment below.