CNN’s tech geniuses are at it again. After telling us that the iPad2 was going to have “dueling operating systems so you can do more,” a new article about the forthcoming iPhone update explains, “The term “HSPA+ is a reference to high-speed processing.” And this after explaining that a dual-core processor “is considered faster at running two programs at once.”
Really? Where does CNN get these people? Is it too hard to look these terms up on Wikipedia?
HSPA+ has essentially nothing to do with processing and everything to do with (faster) wireless broadband data transfer. The term is an abbreviation of “Evolved High Speed Packet Access,” which is a wireless broadband standard (the version 7 implementation of 3GPP). Basically, it’s a newer and more advanced version of the 3G data networking received by present AT&T iPhones (it’s the technology AT&T is misleadingly marketing as 4G).
The statement about the dual-core processor isn’t entirely false but betrays nearly the same level of ignorance (especially the “is considered” part), as multi-core processing has to do with more efficient handling of multiple threads (coded tasks), not multiple programs (each program tends to have numerous threads). To oversimplify somewhat (and leaving out hyperthreading), a single-core processor must queue the instructions being fed to it and handle each thread one-by-one. Dual-core chips (provided the necessary software) allow two threads to be run simultaneously, so fewer threads are stuck in line waiting to be executed. This doesn’t necessarily have to do with multiple “programs” at all, though it will certainly run multiple programs faster (again, provided supporting software) because of its ability to handle multiple threads at once. (A fuller but still relatively simple explanation can be found with a simple Google search.)
CNN really needs hire tech reporters who are more careful or at least vet this stuff a bit better.