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Honeycomb To Require Dual-Core Processor

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the expand-the-requirements dept.

Google 177

adeelarshad82 writes "According to managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, Google's new Android Honeycomb tablet OS will require a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor to run properly. That means that many existing Android tablets will not be upgradeable to Honeycomb, as they lack the processor necessary to meet the spec. Currently, Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform is the only chipset in products on the market to include a Cortex-A9, although other manufacturers have said they're moving to the new processor architecture for 2011 products."

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So, system requirements-wise... (5, Funny)

Kitanin (7884) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761710)

Honeycomb's big, yeah yeah yeah, it's not small, no no no?

Re:So, system requirements-wise... (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761846)

Let's go to the Honeycomb Hideout!

Re:So, system requirements-wise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762120)

My Manwich. :(

Re:So, system requirements-wise... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762956)

Java strikes again...

Wrong choice (0)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761732)

It doesn't seem right. It's just out of fucking line that a cellphone OS would require a dual-core processor. Somebody needs to trim some bloat.

Re:Wrong choice (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761758)

Well hold on here, isn't Honeycomb supposed to be a tablet OS? And since dual core mobile processors are on their way, is it unreasonable to make them a requirement?

I mean, you can restrict yourself to the capabilities of an ARM11 based processor from six years ago but then all of the performance and technological gains since then would be completely wasted. And if such a processor is your target, don't use an OS made for more capable devices.

Personally, I want an A9 based device running MeeGo. Something even more open than Android, and more familiar underneath.

My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (4, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761856)

If an OS can to take advantage of dual processors it's a good thing.
If an OS needs a dual processor to function properly it's a bad thing.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761924)

Google is trying to eliminate the fragmentation that everyone is complaining about, and also trying to reduce the crappy tablets out there giving Android a bad name.

By setting the minimum bar for Honeycomb at a dual-core A9 they can guarantee a certain experience and consistency for all the apps. They can probably also move to hardware acceleration for composite effects, which they can't do for all the Android cell phone hardware out there.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (2)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762080)

They would not do it by something as asinine as dictating the NUMBER OF CORES. They might put out a guideline about total CPU & GPU power recommended, however.

But do you really think their brand new Nexus S reference phone is going to be stuck on 2.3 because it is "only" one core? I seriously doubt it.

Finally, much of what makes most of the tablets out there crappy is just plain bad and cheap design and support. Slow CPU is not the highest on the list of what makes things like Pandigital "crappy". It is things like being released with ancient versions of Android that have been mucked up. Then lack of Android Market. And resistive screens. Poor build quality. Lack of documentation. Missing basic features (camera, accelerometer, jacks), etc, etc. None of those will be a problem for the NICE tablets coming out over the next few months from names like HTC, Motorola, Asus ...

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762156)

Google is trying to eliminate the fragmentation that everyone is complaining about, and also trying to reduce the crappy tablets out there giving Android a bad name.

And that's a fantastic thing to do, just like MS is doing with WP7, it provides a consistent experience as the developer intended.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (2)

citizenr (871508) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762238)

Google is trying to eliminate the fragmentation that everyone is complaining about, and also trying to reduce the crappy tablets out there giving Android a bad name.

That, or lack of GPU accelerated GUI realistically requires two cores to deliver smooth experience.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (1)

SJ (13711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762610)

But but but...

I thought having no single company control the whole product was supposed to be a good thing. Do you mean to say that there are advantages in having one company make both the hardware AND the software?

Well, I'll be a monkeys uncle.

How to not reduce fragmentation (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762702)

Step one: allow a million tablet devices to be released with Android
Step two: Make a new version of Android for Tablets that runs on none of them and only on a new wave of tablets.
Step three: Developer making tablet specific software now required to target two classes of devices.
Step Four: Mu-ha-ha

So what are you to do now if you are an Android developer? Ignore millions of Galaxy Tab units sold?

If I were an Android developer I would be THIS PISSED.

"Allow"? (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762932)

Step one: allow a million tablet devices to be released with Android

Misconceived. Android is open source; Google can't disallow anything except their own (non-open) apps & services like the Android Market (which they have been doing, on almost all released tablets).

Step two: Make a new version of Android for Tablets that runs on none of them and only on a new wave of tablets.

A bit like iOS 4 not running on older devices? Anyway, we've only got some random, non-Google suit's claim that this is even the case.

Step three: Developer making tablet specific software now required to target two classes of devices.

Hardly. An Android developer need merely target an earlier version of the OS like Froyo or Gingerbread, and their app will run just the same on a Honeycomb tablet.

Step Four: Mu-ha-ha

Huh? Is that just there to make Google look evil or something? Are they supposed to be pleased about this hypothetical situation?

I don't get why you so regularly attack anything non-Apple. Is it just platform insecurity?

Re:"Allow"? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763010)

Misconceived. Android is open source; Google can't disallow anything

They could lean very heavily on vendors and tell them to wait for the tablet Android.

A bit like iOS 4 not running on older devices?

No, because iOS4 runs on devices almost three years old. Android Tablet when it arrives will not run on things an order of magnitude younger.

their app will run just the same on a Honeycomb tablet.

So they aren't taking advantage of Honeycomb features then?

Are they supposed to be pleased about this hypothetical situation?

They sure don't seem to care because what they DO have control over is minium specs.

I don't think "pleased" is the right works but it is according to the Google Plan (if it's real, which I'm wondering now).

I never did buy into the whole "Google is evil" meme that is going around, I still think they are a great company. But making a tablet just out a legacy device, sucks and frankly is some kind of evil.

I don't get why you so regularly attack anything non-Apple.

Well if I did that would sure be annoying! I have said repeatedly Android is an excellent platform. What is not excellent is having a few million people buy a Tab and then hanging them out to dry.

You must be awfully insecure, reading one critique of a single aspect of a platform into a general attack.

kinda sorta (2)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763368)

I hate Apple... to prove it, I don't even run OS X on my Mac Book, I use Windows 7 instead. I have no idea how, but I was resolved not to own an iPad because tablets with telephone operating systems sound really stupid to me, yet, I was given an iPad against my will. I use it as a coffee cup saucer.

Though, I love my iPhones. My daughter runs iOS 4 on her 3G, my son runs iOS 4 on his 3Gs and my wife and I both have iPhone 4s. They're great devices and the #1 reason I like them is that my daughter's iPhone 3 is still getting Apple love after all this time. I've owned HTC's, Nokia's etc... and the bitch of it is, that when you buy the phone, unless there's a major issue, you are stuck with what you bought. I've worked on Nokia phones (internally with Nokia) and know for a fact that after a phone ships, the least valuable asset on the development team becomes the new support team for that phone.

Apple at least makes a commitment to their phones for a long enough time that you feel that you weren't just abandoned after purchasing.

I also have a stack of Android devices. I don't use them. With the exception of the REALLY high end ones, I find them to be clunky as hell. If anything Google needs to set a specific standard requiring a minimum CPU, a minimum GPU (and a minimum set of functions that MUST be hardware accelerated as part of the GPU), a minimum amount of RAM, a minimum performance speed for RAM and Flash, and a minimum screen refresh time.

By leaving the platform as open as they have, they've made it a joke. It's the "I couldn't afford and iPhone, but this Android thing was affordable, too bad it's not fast enough to run Angry Birds" platform.

What Google did wrong was this. They waited until after Christmas to hit us with this bomb. It's like "Samsung sold X millions of Galaxy Tablets for Christmas 2010" followed right by "Be ready to by the new Galaxy Tablet in February 2011 since Samsung will not be able to provide support for newer OS versions on the model you got for Christmas".

So, now either Samsung needs to fork Android and maintain it for a year or so to keep users from being pissed that their $600 Christmas gift to the family is a brick in January. Or Google needs to specifically support the fork themselves. Just imagine how cool you'd be if you got to work on the development team at Google that has to support that shitty old OS that was superseded by something better.

Let's not forget the thousands of stores around the world that has a stock of these things and they'll sell them and three hours later, the purchaser will come back saying "I just read this thing won't run new software starting in February". What kind of scam are you pulling!

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762872)

I'm not trying to troll but why doesn't iPad require to set a minimum bar of a dual core CPU? Ok they have one branch of OS and one manufacturer but the fact is, how would setting that minimum bar of dual core guarantee a certain experience and consistency of apps? Why not at 800MHz single core? Why not quad core?

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762082)

Absolutely - this really kinda ticks me off - I just paid $600 for a tablet that has been effectively dead-ended. I wonder how many of the original customers they screwed on the first round will feel like bending over to take another jab when they fork out another $600 to upgrade their OS. What a freaking waste.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (4, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762216)

Why would this tick you off? Did the manufacturer promise you that Honeycomb would run on it? If so, then you have a right to complain. But realistically, you should buy a phone or tablet because of the features it has today, not because of the features it may have tomorrow or next week.

This whole "more features later" promise BS is how we got stuck with Patch Tuesdays. Microsoft sold us a buggy OS and we knew it was buggy, but we bought anyway, because of the promise that they would fix it later.

The expectation should be that your $600 tablet does, out-of-the-box, at least $600 worth of stuff. If it happens to run Honeycomb or some other OS later on, then that's a great bonus for you.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (0)

samkass (174571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762284)

The expectation should be that your $600 tablet does, out-of-the-box, at least $600 worth of stuff. If it happens to run Honeycomb or some other OS later on, then that's a great bonus for you.

That's all well and good, but the 800lb gorilla in the tablet room is Apple and they've set higher expectations. The last major iPad OS upgrade was free for all iPad owners and capable of running on current hardware, and it's likely the next one will be as well. At this point, the "expectation" of any Android device should be that it competes well against the alternatives on the market.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762326)

The last major iPad OS upgrade was free for all iPad owners and capable of running on current hardware, and it's likely the next one will be as well.

Gingerbread for Android tablet owners is a free upgrade too. In fact many Android tablets have gone through more free OS updates than the iPad.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762288)

That model doesn't work for me. $600 is way to much to be spending on a mobile device with such a limited scope. I can get a good laptop for that kind of money.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762332)

That model doesn't work for me. $600 is way to much to be spending on a mobile device with such a limited scope. I can get a good laptop for that kind of money.

So you bought it under the expectation that it would be able to upgrade for how many releases? Or for how long? I mean this doesn't affect the lifespan of the device or anything.

Expectations (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762712)

Apple's bar is that you get OS upgrades for about three years after buying a device.

Even if you ignore that bar, saying that a device just released is not getting an update just months later, is pretty harsh.

Re:My Two Commandments (tablet? anyone?) (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762306)

Absolutely - this really kinda ticks me off - I just paid $600 for a tablet that has been effectively dead-ended. I wonder how many of the original customers they screwed on the first round will feel like bending over to take another jab when they fork out another $600 to upgrade their OS. What a freaking waste.

But Android is open source, isn't that the beauty of it? Also you'll still upgrade to Gingerbread and who knows if there'll be a 2.4 so it's hardly 'dead-ended'. I mean Honeycomb doesn't even have a release date yet!

Re:Wrong choice (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761772)

You wouldn't want a core dedicted to UI and telephone-related operations?

Re:Wrong choice (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763410)

The UI doesn't need a core of it own and phone operations are already done on a separate chip in most if not all smartphones.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

Holi (250190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761892)

These are not "cell phones", they're small handheld computers with cell phone capability.

Handheld computers that aren't phones (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761944)

But is there a market for small handheld computers without cell phone capability? Google doesn't seem to think so, or it'd have licensed the Android Market application to Archos.

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

Holi (250190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761972)

It's not the phone capability, it' the cell data network. Adding voice capabilities is easy and limits the number of devices you have to carry.

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761978)

But is there a market for small handheld computers without cell phone capability? Google doesn't seem to think so, or it'd have licensed the Android Market application to Archos.

May I introduce you to the Samsung Galaxy Tab? [samsung.com]

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

bfree (113420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762272)

I was going to reply that the Galaxy Tab is a phone ... but according to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] that's only true everywhere except in the USA.

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762338)

It doesn't say it's a phone. It says it "supports phone functionality (as speaker phone, via provided wired ear piece or Bluetooth earpieces.)" Thats like claiming my laptop is a phone as it can do that too as either a speaker phone-only function or buying the extra bits. A phone has typically been something you can hold to your ear, but the Galaxy Tab isn't designed for such a functional use.

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762400)

It says it "supports phone functionality (as speaker phone, via provided wired ear piece or Bluetooth earpieces.)"

Isn't that essentially what the GP wrote " cell phone capability ", as opposed to the Archos tablets?

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (3, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762940)

Heh, I use my tab as a phone everyday. And hold it right up to my ear like, "What?". I just run skype and google voice and away I go. The speaker at the bottom turned down is no louder than a phone earpiece and the mic is conveniently located right on the side. All this for 20 bucks a month for data and ~5 for skype number. And it makes a great machine to make posts on Slashdot talking about it to boot!

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (2)

steveha (103154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762652)

But is there a market for small handheld computers without cell phone capability? Google doesn't seem to think so

Here is my take on things.

Google announced both Android and ChromeOS. You might ask yourself, "Why do we need both?"

So far, Google has been saying that Android is a "phone OS" and ChromeOS is a "device OS". Google has also said that Android is "not really designed" for tablets.

So it looks to me like Google is trying to artificially segment the market, and is using the one tool they really have, Android Market, to try to enforce their idea that Android is only a "phone OS". This is to encourage the uptake of ChromeOS. But ChromeOS isn't ready and isn't compelling, so device makers are pushing hard to just use Android. And in several cases, they are doing so even if it means they have to put up their own app store!

This is hurting Android and it is therefore hurting Google. And I really don't see any payoff that compensates. I cannot think of any logical reason for this.

Meanwhile, I have read up on ChromeOS and I still can't figure out why I would want it. It's Linux, but set up to discourage me from using local storage? Huh? Device makers don't want it and I don't want it. Who wants it?

I expect that Google is going to change the policy, probably with Honeycomb. I predict that the official Honeycomb will not require a phone capability.

Also, I have read that the nVidia Tegra 2 is going to be the reference platform for Honeycomb. We can expect to see many tablets using it. I consider that an 8-core chip, but most of the cores are special-purpose; the general-purpose cores are a pair of Cortex A9 cores at 1GHz (which is why many articles call the Tegra 2 a "dual-core" chip). One of the special-purpose cores is a 3D accelerator; I'm hoping that Honeycomb will be able to go direct to that hardware for top performance.

I really want a small, light device with a Tegra 2 and a Pixel Qi screen. It should be dramatically faster than the current iPad, better in bright light, and potentially have longer battery life.

steveha

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762976)

What use is a small handheld computer without Internet connection?

I mean, yeah, there'll be a bunch of basement dwellers who can think of something but that's probably not a viable business for anybody.

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763306)

But is there a market for small handheld computers without cell phone capability? Google doesn't seem to think so, or it'd have licensed the Android Market application to Archos.

I think you need to look up Samsungs new Galaxy Player -- it has the full market and no cell phone capability.

You're welcome.

Re:Handheld computers that aren't phones (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763680)

The iPod Touch would argue: yes.

Re:Wrong choice (5, Insightful)

yuriyg (926419) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761942)

No one (well, almost no one) seems to mind when a mobile OS requires a faster processor, but the number of cores is suddenly an issue. Wake up and smell the 21st century. The not-so-recent improvements in performance come from the number of cores and not the clock speed. And it looks like this is the way it's going to be for a while. Get used to it.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762030)

My point is that the performance requirement progression is pointless, useless, too fast, and stupid. Gingerbread is leaving behind almost every device already on the market.

That's a lot more forced progression than I'm used to seeing from any OS.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762104)

Still bitter about Windows Vista, eh?

I know this, I'm still in debt from buying the SGI Altix cluster I needed just to run Aero.

Re:Wrong choice (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762264)

My point is that the performance requirement progression is pointless, useless, too fast, and stupid.

Why? We want more security, more stability, more responsiveness and more capability...these things don't come free. No-one's forcing you to upgrade so it's moving too fast for you then stick with what you've got.

Gingerbread is leaving behind almost every device already on the market.

That's a lot more forced progression than I'm used to seeing from any OS.

Well firstly it doesn't even have a release date yet and secondly of course at some point the OS will leave most existing devices behind, look at all the problems with the older iPhones running the latest OS, and the original 2G and early iPods don't get it at all. They want to start fresh to provide a consistent user experience and this is the way to accomplish that, seems reasonable since there are already some devices on the market that will support the OS even though the OS doesn't have a release date yet.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762134)

It doesn't seem right. It's just out of fucking line that a cellphone OS would require a dual-core processor. Somebody needs to trim some bloat.

That 'bloat' you speak of is 'applications' and people want to run applications on their devices. People want to run multiple applications on their devices simultaneously so naturally a multi-core CPU is the ideal choice.

It's funny how some people are so ignorant they just assume that because system requirements go up it means the software is wasting clock cycles. Do you think added stability, security and features all come with no computational cost?

Re:Wrong choice (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762172)

I don't even see how this is possible. From a processor standpoint, a 1800MHz single core is *roughly* equivalent to a 900MHz dual core. TFA is claiming that Google cares about the chip and not the relative performance? That doesn't make sense.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762386)

I don't even see how this is possible. From a processor standpoint, a 1800MHz single core is *roughly* equivalent to a 900MHz dual core.

Probably going to get better battery life and responsiveness in multitasking since you'll spend less time context switching.

TFA is claiming that Google cares about the chip and not the relative performance? That doesn't make sense.

Getting the same performance for the same software out of different chips is very difficult even if they are capable of the same performance. Optimising for a particular instruction set? Optimising the scheduler and power management for multi-core CPUs?

I don't actually know, i'm just throwing out some guesses.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763278)

i'm not sure about this but i think a computer with two 800Mhz processor cores is much faster than one with a single 1.6Ghz core.

Re:Wrong choice (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762992)

I'm just surprised dual-core would be a requirement for any OS. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been an OS (apart perhaps from research OS'es) that require more than a single core.
Sure, most OS's today can utilize a multitude of cores, but none of them actually need more than one.
What is it in the architecture of Honeycomb that would necessitate two cores?

Breakfast Cereal Computing. (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761752)

How many cores will Total require? Probably just 1 right?

Re:Breakfast Cereal Computing. (0)

HelloKitty2 (1585373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761934)

The reason they've put that requirement is because otherwise it will run slow, so instead of making people run it on single-core stuff and receiving bad publicity due to "slowness" complaints, they've just put that artificial requirement. It usually goes that way.

Fuck Total! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763396)

How many cores will Total require? Probably just 1 right?

Fuck Total!

Sincerely, the TourettesGuy

Just thread it (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761778)

Be like BeOS, use pervasive multithreading, and those with extra CPUs win, no loss for the older ones. Why REQUIRE it?

Re:Just thread it (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761794)

Why REQUIRE [a sufficiently fast CPU]?

So that people don't blame Google for the molasses performance of a bargain-basement Android device.

Re:Just thread it (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762342)

I believe the GP was suggesting that Google optimize their code with newer releases so the hardware requirements remain the same or decrease. Kinda like how Windows 7 runs better on weaker hardware than Vista.

Realistically, most android applications aren't that complex. Compare something like a BeBox to a modern android phone. The phone will be much less responsive despite far superior hardware. Efficiency in code counts for a lot. OTOH, you can compensate by throwing more hardware at the problem. Of course, I am certain that phone makers welcome the increasing system requirements.

Why REQUIRE it? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763240)

Because Android will fail if consumers see it as slow/unresponsive. Failure is not an option, so minimum number CPU cycles becomes a mandate.

Nexus S (4, Insightful)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761786)

So Google are going to leave their shiny new baby on gingerbread? Yeah... no.

Re:Nexus S (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761936)

Where have you seen any announcement that Honeycomb will run on any phones? Everything we've heard is that Honeycomb will have a new interface specifically for tablets.

Re:Nexus S (2)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762034)

Tablet optimised != tablet specific.

Re:Nexus S (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762054)

But it isn't a given either that it will run on phones. They mentioned that there will be a new API for developing apps that can run on either, but there might be a new phone version coming out after Honeycomb that includes these improvements.

Re:Nexus S (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762498)

But it isn't a given either that it will run on phones.

Just like how iOS has tablet and phone versions.

Re:Nexus S (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762756)

Well, Andy Rubin said it. For what that's worth. See here [youtube.com] starting around 6:00.

Seperate 2 and 3 series phones (1)

imaginieus (897756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762852)

That's close but what Google has been saying for a while is that they are planning to split android into two tracks. The new 3 series track (starting with honeycomb) will be designed to support tablets as well as new "super phones". Existing phones as well as future bargain phones stay on the 2 series track.

Basically, google is looking to diversify the android platform in order to expand its market appeal. The 2 series phones will be targeted at feature phone customers. The 3 series phones will be the cutting edge iphone competitors.

Google has never said that honeycomb is only for tablets, just that it will require new hardware.

Re:Nexus S (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763600)

android 2.3 hold within it flags for larger screens then 2.2 and earlier had. This allows a app to load custom graphics and such for larger resolutions and screen dimensions, adapting to the larger surface area in the process.

Hell, there is a demo out there where webos adapts the interface of the email app as the screen size (browser window, as they where using chrome to demo it) changed. Basically it went from a single pane to a 3 pane as the available space got wider.

I can see something similar be done in android now that the right information is provided to the apps.

Re:Nexus S (1)

ouachiski (835136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762138)

Just to point out this article is about the tablet version. The Nexus S is not a tablet.

Re:Nexus S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762208)

I even doubt they'll leave their aging first born in the dust.

Re:Nexus S (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762494)

heya,

Are you referring to the G1 or the Nexus One...lol...

Beause the G1 was the first "born" from Google.

Cheers,
Victor

Rumour (5, Insightful)

ArtDent (83554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761792)

And wasn't it an equally "reliable" source within an OEM that told us about minimum hardware requirements for Gingerbread? What ever happened with that again?

Oh yeah, it was total bull.

Re:Rumour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762618)

Hehe! Yes, It was total bull. or ... bit-something... bit-trash, bit-bin or... bit-sh*t,
or as my article on the aerodynamics of fruit went,
"Utter Rubbish"

Java overhead (1, Insightful)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761868)

Pretty much everything that is called through Java bindings shows up in profiles. One wonders what is the purpose of that language? Why is such a slow platform enforced in Android-OS in the first place ? You know the low-power, low-performance mobile platform. Smart operating systems sure can run without Java, see iOS or Bada. And then there is the dreaded "automatic garbage collector" that is always kicking in and stalls the entire system when you least need it -- no wonder Google needs another core to tame such a lousy system.

Re:Java overhead (4, Informative)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762222)

Sorry, but you need to update your arguments.
Java is NOT slow and hasn't been for quite some time - that argument is so old it's not worth discussing anymore.

Most benchmarks put it ahead of other languages (with the exception of C and C++ to a lesser extent).

In terms of performance it's well ahead of Objective-C due to the overhead of it's dynamic dispatching (oh, and Objective-C 2 now has GC as well - it's about time).

http://www.javarants.com/2010/05/26/android-dalvik-vm-performance-is-a-threat-to-the-iphone/ [javarants.com]

The current crop of 1Ghz Android phones are every bit as fast and responsive as the iPhone4 (with it's 1Gz A4 CPU - essentially a custom Cortex-A8) so your fanbois argument just doesn't pass the smell test. Rumors are that the iPad2 and iPhone5 will ship with dual-code A4 cpus (based on the Cortex-A9), so if iOS and Objective-C are so much more efficient why does it need dual-core? It's needs it to compete against the flood of dual-core devices that will be coming in 2011 and it will need the horsepower to stave off the attack from Android which IMHO, has already surpased the iPhone in terms of features as well as usability (and I'm an iPhone user - for now).

Sorry to burst your bubble but Java still slow (0)

S3D (745318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762482)

Specifically on Android (I diIdn't have latest Java experience on PC). Java adequate for non time critical games&buisness applications, but for heavy, real-time calculations, for example computer vision apps, Java just is not acceptable. Attempt to write Comp Vision app on Java make it unusable at all. Even thin java layer like copying data from camera make app unusable in real-time. The same goes for other heavy calc apps, like compressive sensing(started to be used in mobile medical app), speech recognition, etc.

Re:Sorry to burst your bubble but Java still slow (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762680)

I was able to do just this at 15fps on the Nexus 1. Before the NDK had debugging I had to debug my code somehow, so I made a java version and ran that (since the code was almost identical). Now, the NDK code is faster, but then again that removes your argument since you can just use the NDK.

Re:Sorry to burst your bubble but Java still slow (1)

S3D (745318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762898)

Show me your android java markerless tracker running at 15fps ans I believe you. At least video. About NDK - that was argument *for* the use of NDK, as opposite to java.

Re:Java overhead (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762620)

Im not disagreeing with you, personally i don't really have an opinion on java performance as I rarely use it and where I see it is in places that you can't isolate Java as being the cause of a performance bottleneck. But it occurs to me that the linked article seems to compare message passing in objective-c to function calls in java, which isn't really a fair comparison and the overhead should be pretty low since the dynamic lookup should only occur once per method after which it should be a hash lookup, which is quite fast.

Re:Java overhead (3)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762780)

Java might be fast enough for your fancy calendar app, but seriously, we need to access NEON the SIMD ARM extensions directly on the CPU to get some decent speed, because the hardware itself is still slow even the A8 Cortex is far underpowered, and do not want to wait hundreds of cycles for Java binding to even start. Java is a nightmare to code mission critical real-time applications and professional grade games. Java should be optional, nobody serious would even consider it then. GC and "managed code" was Sun's marketing ploy to deceive those exec fools to believe that Java is somewhat better then anything else, it looks like many still drink the Sun stirred Java coolaid here.

Objective-C is in the same slow lane league as Java, it is intended for weekend code warriors and calendar app coders. Our iPhone apps, surprise, do not use ObjC at all (except for some tiny binding code snippets).

Re:Java overhead (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762924)

Then program in C and stop complaining:
http://developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/index.html [android.com]

Re:Java overhead (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763610)

well the VM used in android is a custom one (dalvik), 2.2 introduced JIT (with noticeable speed improvements vs 2.1).

And if one really want speed, Google do provide a NDK so that one can compile parts as ARM code (basically having them sit as ARMv5, v6 and/or v7 libs in the APK).

Re:Java overhead (1)

terminal.dk (102718) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762984)

Have you used the Galaxy Tab ? It's hardware is supposedly no worse than the iPad, yet the GUI seems sluggish and in a very different league that the iPad, which even has higher screen res.

Android, given that it started out as a mobile OS shuld be way faster and smoother. Apple is just using an adaption of an old resource hog of a Desktop OS, but still performs way better than Android.

Re:Java overhead (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763224)

It's not slow in microbenchmarks, sure, but performance in real applications? Not there.

There's a reason there's no desktop apps written in Java ...

Re:Java overhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763270)

Oh, nevermind Java in general, but Dalvik is certainly pretty slow, even after Froyo's 2-5x speedup. Heck, there are 300MHz J2ME devices that crunch numbers faster than newest androids.

Re:Java overhead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763430)

According to your own link, "Froyo" introduced a 2-5 speedup. So how can it be true that "Java has not been slow for quite some time?" Presumably Java was 2-5 times slower on Android as recently as...whatever the hell was before Froyo!

But that's beside the point, as it was a very technically deficient article. The real point is this: the current crop of Android phones are not as responsive as the iPhone 4. Android has a stuttery UI, in large part because of the pauses introduced by the garbage collector. This is a very well known problem on Android and a direct result of their choice to use Java.

Re:Java overhead (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34763622)

http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u64/which-programming-languages-are-fastest.php

Java is very very fast, though its main performance problem is memory usage:
6x more memory usage than C
5x more memory usage than Go
2x more memory usage than C#

Re:Java overhead (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762408)

Why is such a slow platform enforced in Android-OS in the first place ? You know the low-power, low-performance mobile platform.
no wonder Google needs another core to tame such a lousy system

Huh, why complain?! This is an opportunity for you my friend. Fork Android, come with another dev medium/language, make it faster and reap the benefits.

Re:Java overhead (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763494)

i just want to point out that android does NOT run java.

When you write an android app, it gets compiled into dalvik bytecode, and any android phone only has a dalvik virtual machine. The way the app runs on the phone has nothing to do with the actual java VM

If that's true... (1)

romanval (556418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34761940)

I'm not sure if that's in the best interest of tablet devices, which are generally used for basic content consumption (with light data input) or casual gaming.

It's not like you can swap out a motherboard/CPU/RAM and upgrade it incrementally (like the DIY PC crowd); the end user will constantly have to buy a whole new tablet in order to stay current with the next generation touch-OS.

Maybe that's the plan after all.. since it would be in the manufaturer's interest to make all of them all final devices that are hardly upgradeable so it'll force to users to shell out $500 every 18 months or so.

Probably not true (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34761976)

The source for this is a tablet maker claiming that its competitors' tablets won't be fast enough. So there's an obvious conflict of interest. And anyways, requiring a dual core processor doesn't make any sense; Google isn't stupid, they won't release something that's too slow for the majority of hardware already shipped.

Re:Probably not true (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762072)

they won't release something that's too slow for the majority of hardware already shipped

As far as I know Google hasnt given any tablets a thumbs up so from Googles standpoint there is no hardware and what is available is a just a big phone.

Re:Probably not true (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762590)

This one [samsung.com] is one that that gets to use the Android marketplace. [android.com]

Re:Probably not true (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34763300)

To be able to use the market you just need an android device with a cellphone data connection, doesn't means google approve of the galaxy tab as being a suitable tablet device (in fact Google have stated that they do not consider the Galaxy Tab as being a tablet but a big phone).

Re:Probably not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762926)

They wont release something that is too slow?
How about if they want to sell new/faster hardware,
just like Apple Did? Huh?

False rumor... move along (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762016)

This is already been discussed at length on androidcentral. The consensus is that this stupid rumor is false. It makes absolutely no sense to require any particular number of cores to run Android.

Who is writing this stuff and what is their motive???

Re:False rumor... move along (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762096)

This is already been discussed at length on androidcentral. The consensus is that this stupid rumor is false. It makes absolutely no sense to require any particular number of cores to run Android.

Who is writing this stuff and what is their motive???

You do realize that androidcentral is not an official google site but rather one run by android fanboys right? I would not consider consensus at a fanboy site to be worth much.

Given the anecdotal evidence of the poor performance of the UI in current android version from the Dalvik VM when garbage collection occurs, I am not surprised by this rumour at all.

See:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=11/01/04/1756245 [slashdot.org]

Google needs to work on providing a HAL for graphics acceleration and fix the GC strategy of Dalvik or create a "universal binary" standard for C based development on android if it wants to compete against Windows Phone 7 let alone iOS.

Re:False rumor... move along (3, Informative)

brian.swetland (1739666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762200)

Android has a HAL for GPU integration (we call it gralloc), Gingerbread brings incremental and concurrent GC in Dalvik, and the Gingerbread NDK provides for all-native development options, among other improvements. You're welcome.

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/12/android-23-platform-and-updated-sdk.html [blogspot.com]

Re:False rumor... move along (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762778)

The rumor is just stupid on the face of it. Google would not have just released a phone that could not be upgraded to the next version of the OS, due out just a few months later.

Re:False rumor... move along (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762474)

The consensus is that this stupid rumor is false. It makes absolutely no sense to require any particular number of cores to run Android.

Or perhaps they are requiring a Cortex A9 instruction set and don't think the 'low power ... into cost sensitive devices' option would suffice?

And WHICH honeycomb would that be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34762190)

After a few flippant remarks by a know-nothing, I actually READ THE DOCUMENTATION.
Imagine that!
But, Android OS 2.3 Honeycomb does not require a dual core processor and.
Android OS 3.0 Honeycomb Which the Toshiba pad announced at CES is expected
Does not *require* a dual core processor but will run much faster with it.

Hint: Both the 2.3 Honeycomb scheduler and the 3.0 Honeycomb scheduler are very
good both at task switching, and threading, which runs both well on a single core,
and very well on a dual core.

I did email some of the primary core kernel developers about it,
but have yet to hear back. they.. are ... well... kinda BUSY?

Real artists ship. Real Pirates SHIP to SHIP.
Make it so!

Re:And WHICH honeycomb would that be? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762414)

Isn't 2.3 Gingerbread?

Just great... (1)

Born2bwire (977760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762404)

It used to be that all I needed for Honeycomb was a bowl, a spoon, and some milk. I'm getting sick of the superfluous inflation of requirements.

What about the Battery implications of Dual Core? (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762412)

OK, so maybe they will require a dual processor to run Honeycomb on a tablet device. I get that. In order for tablets to compete against iPad they must be smooth, super responsive and sharp looking. The extra processing power will help with that. I get it.

Now, lets think about the phone side of the fence. The current crop of 1Ghz processor equipped phones are pretty snappy and sharp. I have a Galaxy S phone, and although I had concerns at first about the battery performance, I don't now. But what about when the first dual processors show up in the very small form factors, where space and weight is more of an issue than in a tablet? I am not sure at all that I would sacrifice battery performance for a few extra glitzy perks on the UI. In fact, I switched from a G1 to a 3gs for that very reason. Now, a year later I've picked up the Captivate and it is holding its own in this regard. I really don't want a phone that has to be plugged in every eight hours.

So, the question I have, is: Would moving to a dual processor negatively affect the batter life of a cellphone? -No Sig Req'd

Re:What about the Battery implications of Dual Cor (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34762822)

So, the question I have, is: Would moving to a dual processor negatively affect the batter life of a cellphone?

Dual cores will likely increase the battery life since one core can be underclocked or disabled when appropriate (saves battery life).

However, I have no idea how multi-core hardware will affect batter... Hmmm, are you planing a fast food themed competitor to "Will it Blend?"

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