Android Going Dual-Core with new Snapdragon Processor

Qualcomm has revealed the next generation of its popular ‘Snapdragon’ processor for mobile devices and is indeed dual-core. The company makes the processors found inside numerous smartphones and even the cellular radios inside some of them. Because of the Snapdragon processor’s popularity in Android devices (even some WP7 smartphones as well), the switch to dual-core for the majority of Android smartphones could be right around the corner. Will Apple follow suite and jump into the dual-core processor arena as well?

Right now, excluding overclockers of course, 1.2 GHz is about the speed barrier limit for the single core processors available. Apple’s iPad comes in at about a gigahertz and uses a single core. Also, NIVIDA has its Tegra 2 processor that will be coming out in models from Motorola and Samsung in the near future.  What is different about Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon processor (the company already released two back in June) is that it uses a 28-nanometer manufacturing process. The smaller chip architecture lets the new processor consume 75% less power than previous models while boosting the speed to 5x of the original Snapdragon. The newest Snapdragon chip—called the MSM 8960—will also feature integrated LTE (4G) network abilities and 4x the graphics processing power of the older model.

The company’s processors are in the majority of Android powered smartphones on the market. With this greatly redesigned chip that is expected to start appearing in actual devices next year, it would make sense for manufacturers to go with Qualcomm. That would mean that many of the Android devices on the market—especially the higher end models that compete with the iPhone—would be dual-core. Can Apple, who likes to license and customize its own processors, keep up? Apple had to switch away from its PowerPC chips years ago in its PCs and switch to Intel ones. Will Apple have to do the same thing again or can the company keep its hardware state of the art by designing it all itself?

So, who thinks the next iPad will feature a dual-core processor? How about the iPhone 5? Do we even really need dual-core smartphones yet? The power consumption issue aside, few apps push the envelope right now except for some 3D games. Our smartphones already can beat the original Xbox in the graphics department, how much more do we want?

Let me know what you think in the comments. Will Apple go dual-core? How long until most Androids come with the setup?

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