This is good news for consumers worldwide. More competition means better quality and lower price. I agree with the comment made around tablets following the smartphones trend. The question is: what is the next big thing after tablets? Could Apple do it again, or would someone else come up with a surprise disruptive product this time?
I think we'll probably see this in market leaders at some point. MediaTek may make a few waves with it right now, but it isn't proprietary. If it is good, someone with market leverage will implement it in their leading products. MediaTek did a good job finding something to get a press release out there, but this probably isn't going to have a big impact for them.
The tablet market is flooded with smaller name tablets and people are getting a bit jaded. MediaTek has a lot of work ahead of them if they're going to compete on the shelves of the big box stores. That name recognition goes a long way towards a sale.
Yeah, I didn't mean to make it sound like they were a nobody. I kind of think they might be in a similar position to when LG started making waves in the states. They were already big overseas, but people here just hadn't heard of them. Now they're everywhere.
I still don't think this(heterogeneus processing) will be the defining fact for their growth in the tablet market. If anythign it will be solid physical construction and battery life.
It seems to me that clustered migration....where a software is moved between a cluster of little cores up to a cluster of big cores and then back under an extension of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling....is simplest and provides what is essentially a uniprocessor programming model.
This means effectively no change for the SoC user but better computation efficiency and the cost of a little silicon.
One you start allowing multiple big-little pairs to exist...or to allow tasks to run on cores as appropriate and as avavilable then the operating system software scheduler becomes vital.
Indeed this could start to become an Android or iOS play rather than an SoC vendor play.
I expect to see Linaro start to be making some Software Schedular developments to enable the more advanced forms of heterogeneous processing.
ARM outlined these two approaches (clustered and MP) at ARM Tech Con last year:
They made it clear the clustered approach was going to be the first out the chute and the MP approach would take a little more time in testing. Thus the Samsung Octa had a time to market advantage but the MP tech wasn't ready yet.
Going forward I would expect most SoCs will take advataage of the MP approach as long as it shows efficiency benefits. Hey, its a nice give away from ARM.