While Windows 8 and OS X Mountain Lion strive to introduce mobile-friendly features into desktop operating systems, mobile hardware itself is improving at such a rapid clip that it may soon reach simple desktop-esque power. Samsung’s Exynos 5 Dual CPU already powers a Chromebook, and now, MediaTek is allegedly working on an eight-core mobile processor—does that make it a dual-quad-core processor?—with hopes to release it next year.
The MTK MT6599 is built using a 28nm manufacturing process and sports the same flagship ARM Cortex-A15 cores that power the aforementioned Samsung chip, the China Commercial Times reports. The processor will be powerful enough to support 13-megapixel phone cameras, 3G and 4G networks alike, and display resolutions in excess of 1280 x 800.
The newspaper claims that the first samples should start shipping to OEMs early next year, with the octa-core processor first appearing in a ZTE-made phone code-named “Apache” sometime next May.
As exciting as the idea of an octa-core phone is—likely battery life woes aside—it would be wise to treat this rumor skeptically until it’s confirmed by official sources. MediaTek tends to focus more on mainstream and low-end chips rather than trailblazing reference designs, as an eight-core processor would be.
Samsung is also working on an eight-core mobile processor based around a pair of quad-core clusters, EETimes reported earlier this month. The Korean company’s solution entails on quad-core cluster clocked at 1.8GHz for beefier work, paired with a 1.2GHz quad-core cluster than focuses more on energy efficiency and basic tasks. Basically, it’s ARM’s “BIG.little” design in implementation. Samsung is expected to detail the chip in greater detail at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in February.