Sony Mobile: Cortex-A15 phones in H2 2012; quad-core phones in 2013?

by XB on 1st March 2012

in Rumours

A Sony Mobile executive has given the first indication of what chips will power future Xperia phones and when we’ll see them. For those hoping for a quad-core beast from Sony this year then you’ll be disappointed. A Sony quad-core handset will not materialise until 2013 according to Stephen Sneeden, Product Marketing Manager. We should point out that Sneeden says this was his assumption only and the roadmap might change.

Instead, Sony will use the Cortex-A15 SoC for phones released in H2 2012. The reason behind this is that Sneeden says that the performance increase doesn’t match the battery efficiency right now. This seems like a sensible move to us. Whilst some may bemoan Sony Mobile being behind the curve once again, the reality is that benchmarks flying around the place prove that Cortex-A15 SoCs outperform quad-core variants. Also, there is still the question of apps taking full advantage of the multi-core environment in phones.

As to exactly which chipset will be used, it will be between Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson. The most likely scenario is the use of the S4 Snapdragon in the second half of this year. See Sneeden’s full comments below.

“We’re going to join quad-core when we feel that the performance matches the battery efficiency. Because right now we don’t feel that is there. What we are going to be doing in the second-half of the year is moving to the Cortex A15 architecture, which we feel outperforms the current quad-core architecture.

You’ll see in 2013, as we’re evaluating the quad-core performance where it makes sense, where you’re not suffering in quality and the performance truly is there, and there really is something that demanding applications need. That’s when we make the right move to quad-core.”

Via cNet Asia.

  • Anonymous

    A logical move. I have no problem with such a strategy. If I would have gone for top specced device I wouldn’t have bought the Arc S.

  • hmm no quad core till 2013 then i guess Hayabusa and mint l will be a tablet from Sony not a Smartphone =__=

  • Nwodu_tc

    Nice move sony…….even wif a single core as my arc it moves smooth at intervals…….duo core or quad core mobile phones will stil freeze……its best dey make the most out of user experience than pursuing cores

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, When first S4 Qualcomm benches went out, I hoped Sony will use them, but after I heard about S4 Pro, I hope Sony Mint will use S4 instead, Two A15 Cores with Adreno 3xx will just trash Tegra 3 !!.. the one without Pro is already neck to neck for graphics and trashes it in non-graphics apps…

  • Dennis

    but S4 is not A15 tho.

  • Andrei Markovits

    I hope the Xperia Pro 2 (or whatever will be it’s name) will have A15

  • Anonymous

    AFAIK, Qualcomm cores are heavily modified ARM cores, not like A9 or A15 cores, but fully compatible and take all new mod ARM made to the core, so basically, the new S4’s can be called A15 as it’s very similar to it.. not 100% but takes a lot of what ARM changes and modify it with their needs and out’s new Arch. this is why they have different stages count for example…

  • JV

    What happens with NovaThor, their own chipset? Don’t they think its good enough to develop/use any futher? Gives me doubts about it, but lets wait for the first benchmarks…

  • Sony, why you no learn how to act faster ahead other competitors?! =___= 

  • Anonymous

    Interesting thought. Could be that way, though I still.hope for a state of the art sony cell phone at the end of the year to replace my arc s.

  • hoe can he say that!! when nvidia have clearly said that in theory the new nvidia tegra 3 has a fifth core where it switches to, when the devices doesnt need need the other cores to save battery life.. so running normal apps and normal day to day task it will run on that fifth core.. and the other 4 only come into play when needed!! and many people that have used the tegra 3 devices such as the transformer prime say that battery life is fine.. so i dont think thats much of an excuse.. i just dont think sony has very good partnership with nvidia.. apart from the sony tablet s.. none of there products come with there chips.. its been the qualcomm or ST ericsson chips.. and even if what he says is right.. why didnt go with the more effiecent s4 snapdragon instead of the s3 which is running in the xperia s… So in fact they are using a chip that was released late 2010 in a device that is launched in q2 of 2012..  with a chip that is juicing out more battery life.. so s4 would of been a better choice.. i just think sony’s cutting cost with goin for older chip sets and making excuses for it!

  • M Usman

    I believe Sony has a valid point about quad core phones. Do we actually really need quadcore phones right now? A dual core phone is able to handle anything thrown at it currently. I understand the phone market is progressing rapidly, too quick for our own good. But there is no need for quad core phones as of yet. The battery opinion pointed out is also valid! I don’t think many people would be happy with a quad core phone that will drain out a battery in no time. Until there is a need for quad core phones, we should stick to dual core. 

  • Anonymous

    Sensible statement. I’ve yet to hear what all these cores are helping -is the possessor of a quadcore phone a superhuman? I think not. Supernerd, maybe.

  • jeson kamalnath

    S4 devices will start appearing at the end of april or beginning of may(HTC devices), so that’s 2 months away. So, S3 is the only choice left for Sony at the moment. If Xperia S uses S4, it will come only during May at the earliest, which is close to 2H anyway. I guess sony mobile has some sort of contract with Qualcomm and not with nvidia. And adding a quad core processor will just increase the price of Xperia S by a 100 euros maybe, with a little increase in performance.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t even have 4 processors in my pc ffs, phones just don’t need that much power if my pc doesn’t need it and I do way more intense things on that then why does a phone need it … More to the point, why do so many people seem to complain if they don’t get phones with quad core, making calls and sending messages with a bit of game playing and music playing thrown in, hmmm, I can see all that really needing twice as much power as a pc !!

  • Anonymous

    As much as I see their point I don’t think this is the right move, people looking to upgrade who want the latest tech will choose a quadcore phone. It doesn’t matter if performance isn’t as good, the majority of public don’t know that.

    It’s similar to the Megapixel race, at the time was 8MP really important? Could phones live without it? The reason they were was because the tech was available and they wanted something to sell to consumers.

    If sony want to become top players in the mobile market they need to cut the crap and be able to compete with other manufactures, if the arc had a dualcore processor last year it would have easily been serious competition to the likes of the galaxy s2

  • Anonymous

    You don’t know that! You just assume that’s the way it is! Show me the statistics….Tegra 3 doesn’t even have LTE

  • jeson kamalnath

    I feel Sony is the most sensible mobile phone manufacturer. This is a very sensible move. They can just concentrate on dual cores, optimize the software as much as possible. The dual core  S4 processors beat Tegra 3 in benchmarks. The quad core processors that come out this year will all be cortex A9 processors. Dual core A15 processors will beat them in performance. So, Sony can actually have one of the best processors in their 2H devices. And then in early 2013, when A15 quad core processors will probably be available, Sony can use them. And those who think Sony is using an outdated processor in Xperia S, that’s the best option for Sony right now. Phones using S4 processor will come only after 2 months from now. Xperia S wouldn’t have launched now and Sony badly had to launch a dual core phone as soon as possible. The S3 got its notoriety thanks to HTC who didn’t use the latest drivers and didn’t optimize the software properly, hence it got bad scores in benchmarks, was sluggish and hence a bad name for the processor. But the scores in Xperia S are much better, even though it’s running a HD screen, thanks to good optimization from Sony. Xperia S will show the true power of the S3 processors!

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  • The new Xperia Video!

  • if I’m reading it correctly then the NovaThor based on the A15 can go up to 2.5GHz in speed a 66.6% increase from the XS :O

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  • Anonymous

    You can say that their phones didn’t get the same media buzz last year as Samsung because of the slightly lower specs. On the upside, pretty much everyone who bought an Xperia phone has had a positive user experience I’ll wager and so that’s been good for the long-term brand prospects. Swings and roundabouts.

  • Anonymous

    Common sense tells you more cores consumes more power. But still, in practical it depends on how the cores are being used. So i’ll leave it up till tegra 3 phones are out THEN we compare the battery life and see if what they say is true, or just an excuse for falling behind on specs.

  • Sbsidlov

    It’s not about the performance, it’s about the costs of cutting edge hardware vs modest margins. There is not a guaranteed revenue stream like the Vita to subsidize hardware expenses.

  • Atlas

    2011 single core, 2012 dual core, 2013 quad core makes perfect sense:D

  • Abc

    32-Bit or 64-Bit??

  • Mahdi Moha

    i hope to use that on xperria play 2 !!!!!

    cpu=game support :)

    i’m in love with my beautiful xperia play

  • Jamich

    I believe Xplay 2 will come during A15 dual or quad era.

    Makes sense

    With that ship it should be possible to emulate PS2 games and that would be next big step for PLAY 2

  • Alex Xperia

    Sony always what they do. This is such a great move from them bcause quad-core phones will be too expensive. Sony has a perfect integration between UI and specs so there’s no need for quad-cores. Anyway, the NXT Series phones are incredibly smooth and fast just like a quad-core!

  • i have read about the A15, but on a concept phone :(((

  • Syed Mohammad Syed Abdullah

    Rather than play a waiting game that’s gonna leave them further behind, why don’t Sony innovate on battery performance or something. Imagine a quad-core device that lasts for 2 whole days. Sony needs to innovate again and be in the headline. Their imaging and audio prowess is already stagnant with not much if any improvement at all. No hardware innovation as compared to the rest, just designs, designs, designs which is fine by me but not the best marketing strategy to produce purely dumb blondes. I just love my dumb blonde and hoping Sony won’t be forced out of business and cease to produce them anymore.

  • Nantha_kumar99

    fucken true dude phones dosent need that much of fucken over powered… i agree with ye… :)

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