June 22, 2013
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There’s no better way to showcase the power of a smartphone than by having its processor drive a Lego Mindstorms machine capable of solving Rubik’s puzzles. At least, that’s what major producers of smartphones seem to think. Chinese company Huawei further fueled the cube craze by releasing a video of its latest and greatest, the Ascend P6, quickly unscrambling those wonderful colored blocks.

In the video, Principal Engineer of ARM David Gilday explains how the Ascend P6 solves Rubik’s Cubes. The 4×4 cube is more difficult than the 3×3 puzzles used in the past, he says, and requires a device – “brain” – with hardware sufficient enough to process all the data. Gilday says visual information collected via camera is fed into an algorithm that utilizes several hundred megabytes of ram and multiple CPU cores. The quickness with which the Ascend P6 solves the puzzle is a testament to the power of its hardware, he says.

While fun, this video hardly captures a use case easily envisioned. Rubik’s Cube solving is about as relevant and valid a benchmark as Pi calculation tests – something to brag about, but not a measure of real world ability. Still, it’s neat to watch, and proof that, if nothing else, Legos are still frickin’ awesome.

Kyle Wiggers
Kyle Wiggers is an avid writer, web designer, podcaster, and video producer with an acute interest in all things technology. When not reviewing or commentating on gadgets, apps, and videos, he enjoys reading New Yorker feature articles, tinkering with computers, and playing the occasional game of Rock Me Archimedes.
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