Quad-Core vs. Hexa-Core for Scanners and Handheld Terminals
Multi-core processors offer different advantages for mobile data collection. / Maximised processor performance due to microprocessors with more than one complete main processor core. / Cheaper due to one processor base. / Hexa-core processors are not necessarily preferable to quad-core processors. / External factors, for example in logistics and retail, play an important role. / Further information on quad-core and hexa-core, scanners, handheld terminals, mobile data capture, and the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit is available at https://www.denso-autoid-eu.com/en.html. /
Düsseldorf. In logistics and in retail, optimised internal mechanisms are a key part of high-quality production processes. The question of storage locations, for example, can be answered through consistent material monitoring or by identifying parts at important stages of the production and administration process. Since the first option requires monitoring all the manufacturing facility’s means of transport, it is suitably complex for logistics and retail branches. As a result, many retailers and logisticians rely on mobile data collection. During a mobile data collection, scanners read 1D or 2D codes or RFID tags to detect where goods are located, the quantity of the goods and at what time they were located. The innovative scanners and handheld terminals for mobile data collection that are available today are adapted for the modern requirements in logistics and retail. They are either equipped with quad-core or hexa-core processors. Both options have their pros and cons in retail and logistics environments, and all this needs to be weighed up when choosing the right scanner or handheld terminal for mobile data collection.
Not all processors are the same in mobile data collection
Both quad-core and hexa-core processors are multi-core processors, that means, microprocessors which combine more than one complete main processor core in a single chip. Multi-core processors have also been developed, among other things, to enable greater processing power in any mobile data collection process. Costs also play a critical role here, as it is cheaper to fit just one processor base on the motherboard, which multiple processor cores then plug into. Due to these numerous advantages multi core processing has been very popular for many years, especially in logistics and retail, where mobile data collection plays a significant role. Once the first quad-core processors became available, it soon became apparent that they would significantly and easily speed up work processes in logistics and retail. While the aim has always been to fully maximise processor performance and this also in mobile data collection, the gain in performance does have its limits. After all, the performance gain highly depends on the implementation and the structure of the software algorithms used. If the databases that are supplied with imputed data during a mobile collection come into play in logistics and retail, additional mechanisms need to be looked at. According to Amdahl’s law – a model for accelerating programs through parallel design –, the speed increase/performance gain is limited by the amount of software capable of being parallelised. The model examines the relationship between the proportion of the programme which can be processed in parallel and the acceleration resulting from this parallel processing. And it is this very observation which is required in order for a multi-core CPU (Central Processing Unit) to be maximised (not only in logistics and retail). Further information on the mobile data collection devices with quad-core processors from DENSO, on RFID and NFC, the QR Code, scanners and handhelds, on mobile data collection, and the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit can be found at https://www.denso-autoid-eu.com/en.html.
A comparison between Quad Core and Hexa Core from everyday life
In general, hexa-core processors can achieve a greater performance gain than quad-core processors. Apparently. If the hexa-core processor represents a sports car with 350 hp, and the quad-core processor a hatchback with 82 hp, it shouldn’t be hard to work out which car reaches a faster speed on the highway and gets the driver to his destination quicker. Apparently. During rush hour, however, both vehicles are stuck in traffic jams for the same amount of time and proceed at the same speed. Stop – start. In case the sports car (hexa-core processor) and the hatchback (quad-core processor) break down on the way and have to stop in the emergency lane to wait for help, both vehicles regardless if hexa-core or quad-core, have to wait for the same amount of time. However, as sports cars (hexa-core processor) often contain special parts, it may require a special service station to repair the damage, while the hatchback (quad-core processor) could potentially be back on the road the same day. In this case, the hatchback (quad-core processor) is even faster than the sports car (hexa-core processor). This comparison shows that there are always additional factors which play the decisive role in the overall picture, especially when it comes to mobile data collection in logistics and retail. Processor availability is a particularly important factor in the direct comparison, and this also needs to be taken into consideration in logistics and retail. More information on the handhelds and scanners, quad-core and hexa-core processors, RFID and NFC, the QR Code, mobile data collection, and the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit is available at https://www.denso-autoid-eu.com/en.html.
Thinking ahead with mobile data collection
As more and more companies, especially in logistics and retail, are starting to work with data collection devices which combine the advantages of a modern smartphone with mobile data collection, it is also important to take into account the life cycle of such scanners and handhelds. Smartphone life cycles these days are getting shorter, as the focus in the telecommunications industry is different from what is needed in retail and logistics. When designing and developing new handheld terminals and scanners, DENSO, part of the Toyota group and inventor of the QR Code, often defines that the data collection device must be state-of-the-art, but also durable. For example, the processor which operates the scanner or handheld terminal must be available in the market for a long time. While developing scanners and handheld terminals, the hexa-core processor is already reaching its limits in this respect. It is well possible for a scanner or handheld to be launched on the market in early 2017, but for the hexa-core processor installed in the scanner or handheld to no longer be available by the end of 2017. It goes without saying that updates on the scanner or handheld terminal can be performed. That, however, costs time and resources – something commercial enterprises, especially in logistics and retail, wish to avoid. There is currently no indication that the conventional quad-core processors installed in modern mobile data collection devices will stop being available in the short term.
Ultimately it comes down to the people who operate scanners and handheld terminals
The user-device relationship must be the main priority when purchasing new data collection devices, particularly in logistics and retail. The applications for which a handheld terminal or scanner is to be used are also crucial. The processing power of a quad-core processor is very high, and the compatibility with other systems and devices is largely guaranteed; but, it must always be checked separately. Comparing only the measurement values, the hexa-core processor yields faster results, but the life cycle is much shorter, and its continuous availability is not guaranteed. It is a fact that both processors are reliable. However, what’s the point of an advanced hexa-core CPU if other components are not adapted? That’s why, when choosing a data collection device with quad-core or hexa-core processor, it is important to always consider whether, for example, it is going to be performing table calculations or whether high resolution for games and graphics is more of a priority. The answer seems to be simple. And yet, the system interface is never the processor, it is always the human factor. And they are the ones who determine whether they want to get to their destination in a sports car or a hatchback. Nowadays, all scanners and handhelds for mobile data collection need to be able to do more and more. However, a scanner or handheld terminal is always just as good as the person who operates it. In the end, people are the most important factor and the ultimate authority in the mix of performance gain, speed and processing. Further information on scanners and handhelds, on RFID and NFC, the QR Code, mobile data collection, and the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit can be found at https://www.denso-autoid-eu.com/en.html.
For the European market, the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit is the contact window for all enquiries on QR Codes, mobile data capture, handheld terminals and scanners. The durable and robust terminals and scanners manufactured by DENSO are to be found in storage, logistics, POS, production and field & sales automation applications. Short and informative video clips about the terminals, scanners and solutions from the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit can now be viewed on YouTube. The clips include the 20th anniversary of the QR Code, a company presentation, and introductions to the various devices for mobile data capture such as the BHT-1500, BHT-1400 and the GT20 scanner. For more information, click on the link below: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHp4Yboj7IccPlSeRxQ6yBQ.
QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED.
DENSO is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile data capture devices. We follow one mission: Driven by Quality – maximum quality in mobile data capture. Decision-makers in the fields of retail, logistics and production rely on DENSO for their business requirements and in implementing the Internet of Things. DENSO is a member of the Toyota Group and is exclusively represented in Europe by the DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit of TT Network Integration Europe: http://www.denso-autoid-eu.com/en.html.
DENSO Auto-ID Business Unit
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Phone +49 (0)211 545547 403
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