Motorola shipped 2.3 million smartphones in Q1, but their goal is to move 12-14 million by the end of the year. They remain on track to launch at least 20 models, with eight out the door so far, so we still have a dozen new smartphones on the way. Co-CEO Sanjay Jha said on Wednesday that two to four of those phone will feature front facing cameras and now rumors are flying that Motorola might produce a 2 GHz superduperphone phone by the end of 2010.
The news of a 2 GHz smartphone appear to come from the blog ConceivablyTech. Many reputable news outlets like Reuters reported on Jha’s presentation at the Executives Club in Chicago, but none of them mentioned the 2 GHz remarks. So either these comments were made after the presentation in private or no one else thought a 2 GHz smartphone was important enough to report.
If we are to believe ConceivablyTech, this ultimate phone will be based on Android, include a gyroscope, add an Nvidia Tegra-based graphics processor with full Flash 10.1 hardware acceleration, support 720p output, “HD screen resolution” and integrate a camera with “more than 5 megapixel” resolution. Another Motorola executive who asked to remain anonymous said that this new phone is “intended to incorporate everything that is technologically possible in a smartphone today”.
It almost sounds too good to be true.
Nvidia’s next generation mobile processor (Tegra 250) is based off the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor running at speeds up to 1 GHz. The Tegra 2 platform was unveiled earlier this year at CES and has yet to appear in a smartphone, but we are expecting something by the end of 2010.
Most high-end phones today use a processor based on the ARM Cortex-A8 core. This include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Texas Instrument’s OMAP. The Cortex-A9 is what we expected in future high-end phones, but none have hit the market yet. To give you an idea of what to expect from Cortex-A9, our friend Anand Lal Shimpi says that the Cortex A9 is between 30% to 100% faster than the A8 depending on the task performed.
So where does the 2 GHz come from? The Cortex-A9 design adds support for multi-processors, but most implementations top out around 1 GHz. It’s been reported that the A9 can scale up to 2 GHz with optimizations, but we have yet to see any announced products that go that high.
“Cortex-A9 will comfortably run at those sorts of frequencies [600 MHz - 1 GHz] and, indeed, with physical IP optimization, we demonstrated can scale up to 2 gigahertz today. The other Cortex-A9 has a lot more headroom to go, it’s a multi-processor design, so you can have quad-core – or up to quad-core implementation.”Warren EastCEO ARM
So yes, it is technically possible for the Cortex-A9 to hit 2 GHz, but we don’t have any actual product that has achieved that. If Motorola is going to release a 2 GHz phone this year, it will be with some unannounced processor.
I’d love to own a 2 GHz phone, but I don’t think it will happen this year.