Sep 07 AT 5:38 PM Taylor Wimberly 26 Comments

Rumor: Motorola also going with dual-core Tegra 2, not 2 GHz

Earlier this year reports surfaced that Motorola was working on a smartphone with a 2 GHz processor, but one of our tipsters is now telling us that quote was taken out of context and they are actually going to be using the dual-core Tegra 2 processor from NVIDIA.

The original information came from ConceivablyTech that quoted Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha as saying his company would deliver a smartphone with a 2 GHz processor and NVIDIA Tegra-based graphics. We doubted that report since no 2 GHz mobile processors had been announced, but CNET confirmed the remark (with Moto spokeswoman Juli Bruda) that Jha promised such a device to his Chicago audience in June.

Now we have evidence that LG and Samsung are likely to launch dual-core smartphones this year and you can bet that Motorola will have a competing product for the holiday shopping season. Both dual-core processors coming in Q4 are ARM Cortex-A9 based and feature two cores running at 1 GHz each. We believe that two, 1 GHz cores was wrongly interpreted as a single-core 2 GHz processor and that’s how the original rumor took root.

Motorola has been using processors from Texas Instruments for their Droid lineup of phones, but it doesn’t sound like TI will have their dual-core OMAP4 ready in time for a Q4 launch. Even if the OMAP4 were to ship on-time, it only features a PowerVR SGX540 GPU (same as Samsung’s Hummingbird) and both NVIDIA and Samsung are promisng 5x the graphics performance from their new dual-core offerings (vs the previous generation single-core processors).

Unless there is some magical processor we have never heard of, then Motorola’s choices for a dual-core processor are limited to offerings from NVIDIA (Tegra 2), Samsung (Orion), TI (OMAP4), and Qualcomm (QSD8672). Both the Tegra 2 and Orion will be available this year, but Samsung is keeping their Orion CPU limited to “select customers” (aka Samsung Mobile). TI and Qualcomm are saying the will ship their dual-core CPUs in Q4, but we do not expect to see them in products till 2011.

Therefore, the original report that Motorola would have a phone with NVIDIA graphics makes sense if they decided to use the Tegra 2.

To add more fuel to the fire, we keep hearing Motorola and NVIDIA are working directly with Google on the next update for Android, codenamed Gingerbread. We were unsure if that would be ready in time for Q4, but you have to remember how Motorola pulled some strings and gained exclusive early access to Android 2.0 on the Verizon Droid.

We can see that NVIDIA is currently working on the Tegra 2 kernel which is up to version 2.6.35 (Android 2.2 is using 2.6.32) from the Android Open Source Project site. The commits are starting to come more frequently and a quick search shows several people with emails who are contributing. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert in kernel development, but Motorola has employees working on something Tegra 2 related.

Motorola still plans to move 12 to 14 million smartphones in 2010 and that means they are banking on a huge Q4. Will a Tegra 2 smartphone under the Verizon Droid branding be enough to hit their numbers? Let us know if it sounds plausible or if you think I’m full of it.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Dave

    This is excellent, a lot of top of the line phones for sale. I think because they have made the droid and that line of phones that it will work out just fine for them. This is a awesome thing.

    I can’t wait to get a phone with this amount of power and root it and overclock :)

  • http://Website M3rc Nate

    This is all great, but it also means your getting in on a first generation dual-core phone if you bought any of these phones…which im sure will mean crappy battery life compared to second generation Dual-Core phones.

    I am on tmobile and have been dieing waiting for HTC Glacier with Dual-core processor (Tegra 2 i believe), but then from what ive read here, Samsung’s “Orion” dual-core will be better than it, and will be in their galaxy S line, which makes me assume that they have new dual core galaxy S phones to be released at some point, and so that means there will be HTC Glacier Q4, and maybe Galaxy S with Orion Q4/Q1

    • http://Website M3rc Nate

      correction: HTC Glacier has Adreno 205 GPU actually, which is not even as good as single core Hummingbird in Vibrant…

      So basically that sucks cause HTC glacier will come out Q4 2010, which i have been waiting for, but now they are telling me Vibrant’s single core is better than Glaciers dual core, and that there is REAL dual cores coming out soon, but who knows exactly when….more waiting…not fun.

      All i want is a Great looking phone (not plasticy like Vibrant) with vanilla android, Dual core, decent battery life or better, and preferably 4″ screen.

  • http://Website Adam

    I want more power in my phone but the thing that is most important to me right now is battery life. We need a flipping battery that can get you at least 24 hours of heavy heavy use. If I want to browse the internet from my phone for 12 hours I do not want to worry about my battery dying. Give us better batteries first.

    • http://Website Mario

      I agree with you on that. I was about to post the same thing. All this dual core talk in phones just seems a little ahead of itself. People have just barely started adopting to multi-core processors in desktops and laptops. My laptop has a dual core processor and with normal to low use I get maybe 8-10 hours out of it on high settings. A cell phone battery is hardly a fraction the size of a laptop.

      If they aren’t going to change the battery technology in the phones first, these phones will be needing a recharge as soon as you unplug it from the wall.

      My old blackberry can go three to four days without recharging. My Vibrant can barely make it through the day.

      • http://Website lahssen

        well i guess that it’s a really old or you are not using 3g or som’
        i’m not even lasting 1 day…

    • http://Website andrew

      Sorry, but the ARM-Cortex-A9 dual core processors are MEANT to improve battery life. Its actually the major change coming to Cortex-A9. Details I wouldn’t know, but from looking at the plethora of news reports on the A9, dual core processors are to address battery life issues.

    • http://Website Nammy

      The problem is you can’t just invent a new, better battery. Batteries rely on chemical reactions and there are no elements in resistance that have a higher “voltage density” then Lithium. There isn’t much that can be done on that front.

      Some ideas are to cover the cell phone in a series of small solar panels so any light in the room will start recharging the phone, or continue shrinking the other parts of the phone (processor, antenna, etc) to allow a larger battery to fit inside the case. Don’t hold your breath for a sudden new battery to hit the market that will let you go days without recharging. Its scientifically impossible.

      • http://Website mkrmec

        If everyone thought like you we would still be in a stone age. There are better batteries existing than lithium ones but are not in mass production yet as far as I read.

        • http://Website Derek

          No, they’re lithium still, but they use nano tubes to increase the energy density to supposedly double or triple whats currently available today.

  • http://Website evo2droidx

    I think its great. But battery life in my phone is also great. The droid x is plenty for me for a while lol. My next android purchase is a tablet. Ill wait for a 10″ tab with dual core processor and wireless NO cell connectivity… not necessary when it will tether to my x

  • Deter

    Do have to agree that I am personally much more interested in when they will develope a phone that can last me more than 6-8 hrs of use.

    Dual-core sounds like a great thing, but then you think about how your single core phone wont make it through a whole day on a battery charge and wonder if it is even worth it.

    What is the point of dual-core if I have to be within 5 feet of a charging method in order to keep it powered?

    Who knows, maybe the devs also have a new battery in the works to give us a full day of power or more even on a dual-core phone. I don’t think so, but that would be about the only way this would revolutionize cell phones they way they want to.

  • Wolfgang Gruener

    Gee guys, I always love it when to accuse someone else of not being able to listen what was being said. “that quote”, published on our website was not taken out of context. Motorola confirmed later on that the 2 GHz quote was accurate. Would you mind doing your research? May your tipster has taken something out of context.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      So you know what this 2GHz CPU is? You also said it would have Tegra gfx. The Tegra 2 is dual 1 GHz cores.

      • http://Website Wolfgang

        What bothers me is the fact that someone assumes something and that discredits someone else simply by that. As far as I know, I was the only journalist at that event in the audience who picked that information, which was mentioned by Motorola’s co-CEO. I would hope that Jha would know the difference between 2×1 GHz or 2 GHz. Motorola confirmed multiple times that what was said was 2 GHz. My source was the Motorola CEO and Wimberly’s source is a tipster. I wonder who is more credible. Gee, and now I am reading here that my quote was taken out of context. Frustrating. Seriously.

        • http://Website Wolfgang

          my bad. I did not see that i was replying to you. But seriously, you gotta check what you write. Discredit if you want Motorola and Jha. But not if the quote was confirmed. Who says your tipster got it all right? Want to pit him against Jha?

        • Taylor Wimberly

          I will gladly post a retraction if I’m wrong. Looks like we should find out in a couple weeks.

          I’d still love to hear what you think this 2 GHz processor is.

  • http://Website Zach

    Thought that rumor of a 2ghz Motorola phone coming out this year was debunked a few days after the misquote or whatever first appeared, My guess is we’ll see 2Ghz phones by next fall.

  • http://Website ivan

    Basically Tegra 2 and Orion are both based on the same architecture ARM cortex A9 which to me seems like equal performance if both are clocked at the same speed. Only difference is Nvidia will offer a better GPU, not by alot though

    • http://Website John

      I think i read somewhere that the Tegra 2 was suppose to be a 28nm chip and the Orion was still a 45nm chip. If thats correct then the Tegra 2 processor should use alot less battery life since its smaller and wouldn’t get as hot as quick.

  • http://Website joeskie

    wow, this is great. i cant wait to have a phone that is already better then the 500 dollar droid i just picked up, atleast they will still have signed bootloaders. hopefully they will come with blur too.

  • http://Website momchil

    don’t forget st-ericsson u8500 chipset

  • http://Website brkyta

    The dual core will run faster and idle back down, while the single core will run longer and, in turn drain the battery more. Dual core = better battery performance

  • http://Website R1Lover

    Since you asked…. I think your full of it.

  • http://Website bond

    I’m aware that im late in commenting, but I just want to clarify along with a few others that a dual core cpu works incredibly efficient compared to that of a single core. You are looking at a 75% increase in spared energy. And in correlation with the amoled displays that also use less energy(for instance any pixels that are plain black are pixels that have been turned off, thus using no energy). We are looking at ridonkulous energy efficiency.

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