ARM demoes big.LITTLE architecture

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The Exynos 5 Octa, the very first commercial SoC using ARM‘s big.LITTLE cluster technology has been given a demonstration of how it should internally work.

As mentioned earlier the Exynos 5 Octa is the next generation of Exynos SoCs developed by Samsung, the chip uses 2 pairs of clusters each packing 4 cores. A first cluster features four low power Cortex-A7 cores while the other has four more robust Cortex-A15 cores designed for maximum performance. The video does not explicitly mention the Exynos 5 Octa but rather the general nuts and bolts of a traditional SoC using the big.LITTLE cluster technology.

The video starts with a basic self explanatory introduction then goes onto the cluster modes, switching technology and it’s scheduler interoperability with the system kernel especially Linux. This article explains it all.

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The chip is essentially focused at maintaining a level of balance between performance and energy efficiency, that is done by switching between clusters depending on the system load.

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The scaling capabilities were also mentioned, it should be noted that the four Cortex-A7 cores are designed to process low-activity tasks such as basic User-UI interaction while minimizing power consumption at all costs. Roughly speaking the beefier Cortex-A15 clusters will only be used whenever more horsepower is being requested.

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