All sorts of things have been used to claim bragging rights in the chip business: cleanliness of your fab; shortness of your gate length; density of your memory; speed of your processor and, now, the number of cores on your IC.
Earlier this week it was reported that Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs had said that Samsung’s announcement of an eight core processor for a mobile phone was a publicity stunt.
Last year Intel brandished a 48 core processor for mobile phones which sits a little incongruously alongside this year’s announcement that it is focussing on the low-cost market.
The core thing has turned into a bit of a damp squib because still no one knows how to programme across multiple cores to evenly spread a general purpose load on the fly. After a surprisingly few number of cores the law of diminishing returns sets in.
So what do you brag about these days?