What’s been driving today’s smartphones??? Yes,The answer is “ Heterogeneous Computing“.This computing consist of CPU,GPU and other Digital Signal Processors.It all started from HSA foundation where founders like AMD,ARM,Imagination,MediaTek,Qualcomm,Samsung,Texas Instruments came together with an idea to combine all processors,Graphic processors and DSPs on a single silicon chip.
Consider Qualcomm’s snapdragon 410 chipset,its a SoC (System-on-Chip) design consisting of Quad core 1.4 GHz A 53 cortex CPU with 32-bit and 64-bit support.It also consist of Adreno 306 GPU which supports OpenGL 3.0,OpenCL and DirectX.It also consist of Digital Signal processor(DSP) named as “Qualcomm Hexagon”.It also supports LPDDR2/DDR3@533MHz RAM.maximum display resolution supported is 1920×1200.All these camera,multimedia extensions like H.264,H.265 decoder and dolby and DTS sound support comes under a single silicon chip. All these processing units are added on a single chip. The unique capabilities and features of each of these processors can be used together to ensure the right task is assigned to the most efficient processor for the job, maximizing the performance and power efficiency beyond what could be accomplished on a CPU’s general computing core alone.
For example,object and audio detection requires low power DSPs,while image composition and processing are best suited for massively parallel GPU. Different algorithms are for the different processor architecture,so adding additional core for each of these task is not a solution,as it will not increase the performance of the overall system.Hence achieving increase in both performance and power efficiency by enabling the right task to shift between the cores.Although Heterogeneous computing takes lot of software work to provide a complete Heterogeneous solution.
Smartphones,tablets and notebooks are the mobile devices which uses Heterogeneous computing for better performance and low power.Accelerated processing units are available from AMD,Heterogeneous computing(HC) from Qualcomm and Heterogeneous Multiprocessing(HMP) from the MediaTek are driving by Heterogeneous System Architecture(HSA).But the way of working of qualcomm and Mediatek mobile processor’s company is different.Qualcomm switches the task between the CPU,GPU,DSP,and multimedia processors,but Mediatek allows the switching between the CPU cores only which enables cooperative management between the CPU and GPU for better performance.scheduler algorithms and advanced thermal management helps to reduce the power consumption.