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Intel talks up their BigLittle CPU SoC

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Apr 26, 2020
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So... this is more of a shift towards efficiency than anything else...
Could be useful for... ultra ultra books? o_O another zero sum race to be thinner...
 

Izerous

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I have mixed feelings about these big/small cpus. I feel like they will be marketed as "8 core laptop, turbo 5GHz" kind of thing but it will only be 4 big cores and 4 little cores and the uninformed will be taken for a ride.

We might even start seeing unbalanced like 6 big + 2 small where it will skew battery run times etc in its favour but anything besides checking email would overload the 2 small cores or other weird variants.
 

Mr. Friendly

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I suspect that Intel will advertise them at 16 core CPU's at 8 core prices and muddy the waters for the uneducated. and it won't be a lie...but it will be misleading.
 

Entz

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Part of the issue is going to be how it figures out what to run on what. Is this going to need application changes, which you may not have access to (support plans or companies dead etc)? or at least an application manifests. Not to mention cheating...

It does make sense in some ways to dump things that do not need high power cores to low power ones, like email or Skype/Teams apps etc. Would save on power. But at the same time your dedicating die space to something most people dont really need and will likely give up primary CPU power for in some way ( cache, GPU etc).

If you can't pin your app, I can imagine the chaos, your playing a game and it spins up another background thread and it gets put on a weak core and your game goes from running fine to a slideshow.
 

sswilson

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Moncton NB
Part of the issue is going to be how it figures out what to run on what. Is this going to need application changes, which you may not have access to (support plans or companies dead etc)? or at least an application manifests. Not to mention cheating...

It does make sense in some ways to dump things that do not need high power cores to low power ones, like email or Skype/Teams apps etc. Would save on power. But at the same time your dedicating die space to something most people dont really need and will likely give up primary CPU power for in some way ( cache, GPU etc).

If you can't pin your app, I can imagine the chaos, your playing a game and it spins up another background thread and it gets put on a weak core and your game goes from running fine to a slideshow.
I don't know how much overhead it would bring with it, but couldn't the drivers do something similar with a system's most commonly used background tasks that a SSHD does with commonly opened files?

I can easily imagine something that learns which processes are always present, but never use up more than a certain percentage of CPU.
 

Entz

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Most likely yes. I guess Microsoft could use all this telemetry they are getting and train an AI to know what should be move and what shouldn't be.

It would have to be done at the OS level though, I really don't want apps installing kernel drives to make themselves always run on the high power core because they want to look good.
 

Mr. Friendly

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no doubt Intel has been working closely with Microsoft to solve the issues of how this CPU multi-threads and prioritizes tasks, etc. Intel has a lot of pull / leverage to get their way for stuff like that. :p)
 
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