Faster Processor Coming to Smartphones, Tablets This Year
The Snapdragon processor has become the gold standard for mobile computing in the last year. Now its manufacturer, Qualcomm, is poised to release an even faster version of the popular smartphone processor by the end of the year.
Processing speeds of 1GHz have become standard in the latest generation of smartphones and tablets thanks in part to the Snapdragon. The newest batch, officially dubbed the QSD8672, will give mobile devices processing speeds up to 1.5 GHz.
The new Snapdragon processor also introduces a feature taken from computer processors: dual-core processing . The faster Snapdragon processors will actually be made of two smaller "cores" that can effectively perform twice as many actions as a single-core processor in the same amount of time.
While this does mean faster processing for smartphones and tablets , it also depends heavily on whether software on mobile devices is optimized for multi-core chips. If not, then there are fewer speed gains for a dual-core setup.
Mark Frankel, vice president of product management for Qualcomm, said that Qualcomm will begin shipping dual-core Snapdragon processors by the end of the year. However, that means devices sporting the new chip won't be available until early next year.
Frankel says the new Snapdragon will be good for smartphones and tablets, but it may even appear in some low-cost laptops. With dual cores and processing speeds of 1.5GHz, the Snapdragon is fast approaching the functionality of the Intel Atom processor (dual cores and 1.6GHz), which is the standard processor for most netbooks on the market.
That and the ability to play 1080p high-definition video, a feature in high demand, means the Snapdragon could have a significant future in netbooks.