This is the only information that the mobile processes, and based on this is how we can really understand how it works and what the power that its components offer us depends on.
The power of the mobile depends mainly on the processor
By power we are going to refer to the ability of the equipment to execute any task -or process- with greater or lesser speed. Then, at the end of the day, we pretty much limited ourselves to the concept of speed, although you could also consider how smoothly the software runs and so on. In any case, we start from this base to know, in depth, what the processor of a mobile is like.
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The chipset is to a mobile what the motherboard is to a computer
In a mobile, the equivalent of the computer’s motherboard would be the chipset, and the main manufacturers currently are MediaTek, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung and a few others. These chipsets are those that include the processor and the GPU -graphics processor-, in addition to the connections for the connectivity modules, camera, RAM memory, screen and other components inside.
The processor of a smartphone, the fundamental bases
Among the technical specifications of a mobile processor -microprocessor, rather-, we find several data such as the following: maximum clock speed, architecture, manufacturing process, cache memory.
maximum clock speed
Clock speed, or clock frequency, measures the rate of electrical switching of transistors. That is, this value specifies how often the transistors open and close the flow of electrical current. Thus, if we review the data of the processor of a mobile we will be able to know the cycles per second, and in the case of a value of 1.5 GHz, for example, we are talking about its transistors being capable of switching the current flow 1.5×109 times per second.
The architecture of the processor is what determines the maximum length of the information strings that it is capable of interpreting. Therefore, it is a determining factor when it comes to knowing the power of a smartphone, since, for the same instruction, a 64-bit processor requires only one logical operation, while the same instruction in a 32-bit processor would require three logical operations.
64-bit information string:
32-bit information string:
Measured in nanometers, this value determines the dimensions of a processor and therefore the density of transistors on its surface. Precisely for this reason, the smaller, the better values are achieved thanks to the fact that the time for a complete commutation cycle is reduced. Processors with higher transistor density ensure much higher power efficiency, which means more performance, lower power consumption, and lower operating temperatures.
Composed of several levels, it is a system of auxiliary memories for the microprocessor where small blocks of information are stored that are frequently used by the processor. Its levels determine the distance to the processor, and according to this range, the most and least used recurring data will be stored in it.
So how do you really know the power of a mobile?
All these previous factors give us back the technical information about a processor, and based on them we can know its capacity to manage all kinds of instructions. Leaving the operating system aside, the ‘cold data’ of the terminal’s processor is more than enough, together with the RAM memory and its technical specifications, to know what its maximum performance is.
The point is that the software is capable of diminishing or exploiting this maximum performance depending on its optimization. For example, an application designed for 32-bit is not going to take advantage of a 64-bit processor, even if it can run perfectly with it. However, we are not going to really know how powerful a processor is just by checking its clock frequency. It is really the set that determines the power and, above all, the final performance.