“True octa-core” is the label for MediaTek’s MT6595 chipsets since all 8 cores can run at the same time. Samsung also had a similar offering (Exynos with four A15 cores and four A7 cores) although the chip was never utilized in full at any one time. The original release of the MT6595 integrated eight Cortex A7 cores and upon ARM’s announcement of Cortex A17, MediaTek started working on a chip that would include four A7 cores as well as four A17 cores.
The latest entrant in the octa-core race is Qualcomm eyeing the Chinese market. At MWC2014, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 615 with 8 cores which can all run simultaneously – so in MediaTek’s words a “true octa-core” chip. Snapdragon 615 cores are all Cortex A53, the chip contains Ad
reno 405 GPU and integrated modem which connects to LTE category 4.
“It’s very interesting. Consumers in China want octa-core. It’s very high on their list; while in the US and Western Europe, it’s totally other things that consumers want. So we’ve really recognized that if that’s what Chinese consumers want, that is what our Chinese customers, our OEMs want, and Qualcomm has to care for that need; so that’s what we’re doing.” – Qualcomm’s marketing VP Tim McDonough.