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Qualcomm talks Vellamo

by on20 April 2012

It was our tool for internal testing

We had a chance to spend some time taking with Qualcomm’s Sy Choudhury who works as the company’s director of product management, web technologies and one of the many topics was the Vellamo benchmark.
The idea for a conversation came from this bit that we posted shortly before first Snapdragon S4 8260A HTC One S and Tegra 3 powered HTC One X were officialy out. In case you missed it, you should read it to get a general idea of what we’re on about.

Sy offered a very good explanation as to how Vellamo was born and what the purpose of the test originally was. He insisted that the test doesn’t favor Qualcomm or any other vendor. Qualcomm stands that it’s impartial. Just after this conversation we run the test on HTC One S with 8620A and scored 2605 while Tegra 3 HTC One X scored 1607, a significantly lower score for this quad-core processor at similar clocks.

Sy explained that back in 2011, the birth year of Vellamo, the benchmark was designed for internal testing of one of the most complex program, mobile browser. Qualcomm wanted to see the potential performance of the specific SoC system on chip before it would give it to a phone or tablet manufacturers. OEMs and phone makers really liked the Vellamo test and asked Qualcomm to give them a chance to play with it, and this is how Vellamo was released to phone vendors and later to the general public via Android Market aka Play Store.

Sy also told us that browser works with three threads, core browser, java execution and CSS and HTML rendering part and as such can definitely find a good use for more than single core. There you go Nokia and Microsoft, more is better, at least in some cases.

Still, in order to utilize more than one core you need either a benchmark, something that is usually an unlikely scenario in real world to stress all possible cores and clocks or multiple applications running at the same time.
In our own experience it’s hard to tell the difference in everyday work between Qualcomm’s dual-core S4 and Tegra 3 quad-core, unless you choose to play a Tegra title that will not run on other chips. These games by default look better than on competing chips and Nvidia is still trying to push Tegra Zone as a selling point, with mixed success.

Browsing the web, playing music, reading documents or similar tasks is lightning fast on both parts with a general idea that once you put so much load on your mobile phone processor, there is a chance that Tegra 3 with four cores will do it better. Qualcomm on the other hand has attention of US telecoms and market as it is the first 28nm processor with LTE support, has Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radio all in one chip, as well as an Adreno 225 graphics core.

As for Vellamo, the new version is expected later this year and let’s see if Qualcomm parts continue to miraculously outrun the competition.

Last modified on 20 April 2012
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