Re: "Dumb" until Qualcomm are able to produce an 8 core chip
It isn't rocket surgery to create an 8 core chip.
The difficulty Qualcomm likely have is that they are using their own architecture for their multi-core SoCs, and not using standard ARM IP.
So stuff like big.LITTLE has to be re-invented by Qualcomm, stuff like the CCI has to be re-invented and updated to support more and even heterogeneous cores.
Yes, it's probably (relatively) easy to go from a dual-core to a quad-core and then an octa-core design when all the cores are 100% identical, but in the current 8-core SoCs not all the cores are identical (which would be very bad for power consumption) and it's this point which is most likely making life that bit more challenging for Qualcomm. They'll need to be considering how they solve the power problem as they ramp up the number of cores, and if they decide on using big and LITTLE cores they need to work out how they achieve it - design another new architecture for either the big or LITTLE cores? Not quick and not cheap.
This is all most certainly not rocket science, but because of the route Qualcomm has taken to market - ploughing their own furrow which has served them well up until this point - they now have a lot of work to do to catch up with the likes of Samsung and Media-Tek who are simply using off the shelf designs from ARM.
Quad core CPUs for phones is ridiculous overkill and completely unnecessary. Going to 8 core is ludicrous.
Generally, I'd agree - for todays smartphones.
But these 8-core SoCs aren't only going to be used in smartphones, they'll be absolutely fine in tablets with much bigger batteries, and I want an 8-core SoC in my "hybrid" smartphone of tomorrow which will run a full desktop OS when docked.
The big.LITTLE concept makes a lot of sense when thinking about "hybrid" products that sip small amounts of power while offering moderate processing capabilities when mobile, but are able to provide much more processing capability when docked and on mains power.
Octa-core processors may not be the most sensible option today with relatively dumb smartphone operating systems but in the future, with more capable operating systems and form factors, their benefits should be more obvious.
Qualcomm claiming 8-core SoCs are "dumb" is just deflecting attention away from their current ability to compete.