The Processor: Mr. Brain of a Smartphone

by Atinuke Naomi
5 mins read

The processor of a smartphone equals the human brain in the real world. It comprises the speed of movements of any smartphone. Those tiny chips might look all jumbled up but everything from watching videos to surfing the internet to playing games to actively using social media, all of these need power.

The more information being processed on a smartphone, the more power is needed and they all compete for processing time. When the processor isn’t a strong one and it is processing a lot of information, the phone tends to lag.

What makes processors PROCESSORS?

Smartphone processors contain processing units, which can also be referred to as cores. A core is the processing power of its Central Processing Unit. Due to the amount of information being processed on this current generation of smartphones, they must have a high processing power. This is why they come in the range of multi-core processors. Multi-core in this sense can be Dual-core, Quad-core, Hexa-core, Octa-core, and Deca-core. They contain the same number of cores the name implies. “Dual” means two, “Quad” means four, “Hexa” means six, “Octa means eight, and “Deca” means ten.

The higher the number of cores, the higher the processing speed and power. This in turn is most likely to affect the battery, and the smartphone is liable to suffer battery drainage. If a 5000mAh smartphone with a Quad-core processor carries out operations to its topmost capability, it will run out of power faster than a 5000mAh Dual-core processor smartphone, because if a battery has to supply power to multiple cores within the processor of a smartphone, it will consume more power as the number of cores increases.

What is it about multi-core processors?

Multi-tasking is one of the advantages of a multi-core processor, and an important one at that. It has been mentioned that any activity you perform on your phone is being processed by a processor, a processor which contains cores. For instance, you are on your phone researching for a project on the internet with the deadline fast approaching and a call you have been expecting comes in. You don’t want to have to stop working and the call is equally important, this is where the beauty of a multi-core processor comes in. Before this current generation of smartphones, single-core processors which can only perform only one operation at once were used and if this type of scenario painted above were to have happened, it would have disconnected the internet service for the call to come in. All thanks to the evolving technology, you can comfortably answer your call without network disruption. This is because while one was in action, the other ones were on standby and as soon as the call came in, one of the cores on standby went into action.

The heat produced as the number of cores in a processor increases used to be a problem but with the help of heat absorbers integrated into smartphones, this doesn’t pose as a problem anymore.

Processors used in smartphones

Processors are manufactured by different companies. They come in series which say more about their performance. Processors used in high-end phones cannot be used in low-end phones because of the expected performance. Some of the examples of processors in no specific order are:

Qualcomm Snapdragon processors: These come in four series; 200, 400, 600, and 800 series.

200 series

  • Qualcomm 205

400 series

  • Snapdragon 427
  • Snapdragon 430
  • Snapdragon 435
  • Snapdragon 450

600 series

  • Snapdragon 625
  • Snapdragon 626
  • Snapdragon 630
  • Snapdragon 636
  • Snapdragon 650
  • Snapdragon 652
  • Snapdragon 653
  • Snapdragon 660

800 Series

  • Snapdragon 820
  • Snapdragon 821
  • Snapdragon 835
  • Snapdragon 845
  • Snapdragon 865

Apple processors: Apple has processors available in A, H, M, S, T, U, and W series but the A series are the smartphone processors.

Apple A series

  • Apple A4
  • Apple A5
  • Apple A5X
  • Apple A6
  • Apple A7
  • Apple A8
  • Apple A8X
  • Apple A9
  • Apple A9X
  • Apple A10
  • Apple A10 Fusion
  • Apple A10X Fusion
  • Apple A11 Bionic
  • Apple A12 Bionic
  • Apple A13 Bionic
  • Apple A14 Bionic
  • Apple A15 Bionic

Mediatek Helio processors

  • Helio X20
  • Helio X25
  • Helio X27
  • Helio X30

Samsung Exynos processors

  • Exynos 3 Single
  • Exynos 3250
  • Exynos 3470
  • Exynos 3475
  • Exynos 4210
  • Exynos 4212
  • Exynos 4415
  • Exynos 5250
  • Exynos 5260
  • Exynos 5410
  • Exynos 5420
  • Exynos 5422
  • Exynos 5430
  • Exynos 5433
  • Exynos 5800
  • Exynos 7420
  • Exynos 7570
  • Exynos 7580
  • Exynos 7650
  • Exynos 7870
  • Exynos 7880
  • Exynos 8890
  • Exynos 8895

Huawei Kirin hisilicon processors 

  • Kirin 620
  • Kirin 650
  • Kirin 910
  • Kirin 920
  • Kirin 930
  • Kirin 950
  • Kirin 960
  • K3V1
  • K3V2
  • K3V2E

In conclusion, the performance of a smartphone is not solely dependent on the processor, others like RAM, Operating System, and GPU affect the speed of a phone too.

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