Mobile device chipmaker Qualcomm will begin shipping its delayed dual-core Snapdragon chips this fall, and devices running on them may also arrive before year's end. This could include smartphones and tablets, the company said on Monday. Low-cost notebooks could also be powered by the QSD8672 chip, which will be available with a clock speed of up to 1.5GHz.
The majority of devices running on the new chips will arrive in 2011, however, with only a few of the more aggressive vendors bringing them out this year. The MSM8660 chip with a 1.2GHz clock speed and has began shipping in the spring. The 1.5GHz MSM8672 is based on an ARM design and will sport 45nm architecture.
The 8672 will also have better power management than the older, single core Snapdragons, as each CPU can be scaled independently of the other. It will have the ability to play back 1080p videos, and sport integrated HDMI along with DDR2 and DDR3 memory interfaces.
Speed has become an increasingly important factor in smartphones as the demands of the OS or of media features like HD video have dictated requirements much more than in the past. A 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon may not necessarily fit in all smartphones but would help Android regain an edge in the high end against Apple, which is now on par or ahead of most Android devices with its custom-designed but single-core A4 chip in the iPhone 4. Apple may have an answer in early 2011 if it can use an A4 sequel based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture and get both dual-core and higher clock speeds of its own.