Feb 09 AT 3:19 PM Taylor Wimberly 15 Comments

HP hints at Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon availability, but when are the other dual-cores coming?

The first dual-core phone in the USA, the Motorola Atrix 4G, goes on pre-sale this weekend and it will be available in AT&T stores by March 3rd. That device is powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor, but many other semiconductor companies are also working on dual-core solutions.

Qualcomm has their third-generationg, dual-core Snapdragon, Samsung is about to launch their dual-core Orion, and Texas Instruments is readying their dual-core OMAP4 platform.

So when are these other dual-core platforms coming to market?


The last time we talked with Qualcomm at CES, we were told that the dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragons (MSM8x60) would arrive in products by sometime around Q2 2011. Acer previously revealed they have a 7-inch Android tablet using the dual-core CPU slated for April, but we have yet to get any smartphone announcements.

HTC is said to be working on a dual-core handset codenamed Pyramid, which is rumored for a May to June availability. We might get more details at Mobile World Congress next week, but nothing is certain.

Today HP revealed that they will be using a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon in their upcoming webOS-powered Touchpad. That product has a broad availability of “shipping this summer” so it could land by Q2, but Q3 sounds more likely.

Another interesting note from HP’s press conference was that the Palm3 will feature a second-generationg, single-core Snapdragon (MSM8x55) running at 1.4 GHz. The Snapdragon uses Qualcomm’s custom Scorpion core which has only been clocked up to 1 GHz in a single-core setup, so it’s exciting to see they bumped the clock speed to 1.4 GHz.

Qualcomm also has the 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon (QSD8672) scheduled for Q42011, but we have yet to hear anything new on that chip in awhile. It could be that Qualcomm is retooling that part to better compete with the quad-core Tegra 3 expected to be available around the same time.


The dual-core Orion is Samsung Electronics’ answer to the competition. This chip was supposed to be available to select customers in Q4 2010, but it was only demoed at trade shows and no products have been announced.

Recent rumors had suggested that Orion might slip to Q2 2011 and it appears that is true. Samsung is expected to announce the Orion-powered Galaxy S II this weekend, but I do not expect the product to ship for several more months.

After Orion, Samsung has Pegasus (single-core), Hercules (dual-core), and Aqulia (quad-core). Little else is known about Samsung Electronics’ roadmap.

Texas Instruments

The OMAP4 is Texas Instruments first dual-core processor and it comes in two versions. First we have the dual-core 1 GHz OMAP4430 that is expected to be available in the first half of 2011 and then the dual-core 1.5 GHz OMAP4440 slated for the second half.

RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook tablet is the only OMAP4 product to be announced so far, which is rumored to go on sale in April.

LG is also announcing their Optimus 3D at Mobile World Congress next week which is rumored to feature the OMAP4430, but it is too soon to predict the availability.


NVIDIA might have produced the first dual-core solution, but everyone else is working like crazy to catch up. If you are wondering why everyone is going dual-core crazy, then you should go back and read 5 compelling reasons you will want to buy a dual-core mobile device to see what the fuss is about.

I suspect that several of the dual-core platforms arriving in Q2 will surpass the performance of Tegra 2, but NVIDIA also has a speed bump coming this summer (Tegra 2 3D) and should have their quad-core ready by Christmas.

Analyst predicted that multi-core penetration in smartphones will reach 15 percent by the end of this year, and I would say that’s a fairly safe bet.

My next device will be dual-core and by this summer every operator should have a dual-core option in their stores. If you are in the market for a high-end Android device, I suggest waiting just a couple more months and I expect your carrier of choice will have something that makes you want to part with your hard-earned cash.

Which dual-core offering do you want in your next Android device?

Source: Engadget

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 2C

    I’m waiting for either the next Nexus device or the G3. I’m sure both of these devices will have a multi core processor.

  • http://Website Micado2

    Don’t forget STEricsson with U8500(Mont blanc) platform

  • http://Website Austin

    At this point I’d settle for just about anything dual core because I’m with Sprint! Their new Echo dual screen does nothing for me and is not a step up from my Evo. They were ahead of the game with the first 4g and have fallen to last with nothing announced coming…so disappointed.

    • http://Website paul atreidres

      I see where you’re coming from but I wouldn’t jump too fast. Sure they only presented the Echo so far but a select crowd will be excited over that innovation and Sprint will have a powerhouse or two in the coming months I’m not worried. I haven’t seen anything from other carriers yet that makes me pee my pants from excitement. A cool phone comes out on Android almost every month but when that EVO 2 surfaces its going to steal a lot of thunder from these devices just like the original did the iPhone 4 and Droid X.

  • http://Website Fishstick

    Any more updates/review on the Optimus 2X? My wife really wants it when/if it comes to T-Mobile USA. Sorry for the off topic.

  • http://Website Albert H.

    I’m patiently waiting for the htc pyramid. Taylor, are you still going to change providers and get the atrix or are you intrigued by htc’s dual core offering?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I’m getting the Atrix when it comes out. These HTC phones won’t be in stores for months and I want to upgrade now.

  • http://androidized.com Lucian Armasu

    I hope Google doesn’t repeat the mistake with Nexus S, and they try to set the standard once again with Nexus 3, which I hope will have the quad core Tegra 3 by Christmas.

    Taylor, why do you think Optimus 3D will have an OMAP 4 chip? I would’ve thought they’d go with Tegra 2 3D. Nvidia is expecting to have Tegra 2 3D in products this spring, not summer, at least according to that leaked road map for 2011.

    Also, I expect Qualcomm to bump their dual core 1.5 Ghz chip to a dual core at 2 Ghz and maybe unlock some extra features that until now couldn’t be used because of their power draw. That’s about it. I don’t think they can turn it into a quad core, and Tegra 3 will probably leave it behind quite a bit, and probably everyone else, too.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I think LG is just playing it safe. They want to try a different applications processor in several different models and see what one makes them the most money.

  • http://Website mark

    Pyramid for me. I still have well over a year left on my contract so hopefully by the time its upgradable dual core phones will be fully implemented and a good network of full function apps for productivity along with them.

  • http://Website Bill

    I still have the Samsung Moment and I’m waiting very patiently for a dual-core to be announced by Sprint. So far they’re trailing their competitors but if they come out with an EVO2 soon they’ll be right back up there. Here’s hoping there’s some surprises in store for us at WMC or CTIA.

  • http://Website Goldni

    I think we’ll get a very clear picture from the two conferences in the next few weeks. I’m not brand loyal to any chip makers. But I am impressed with what Qualcomm continues to rangle out of their single core Snappy. Did i read it’s gonna be overclocked to 1.4ghz in the new Pre? I talked to someone today that has been playing with a Thunderbolt. Before he played with it he had not bought into any hype at all since it was not dualcore. He was really impressed. It felt zippy as heck.

    EVO was a big hit last year for HTC and Sprint. Both have been quiet concerning a successor. I have the feeling it may be special item this summer.

    • http://Website metafor

      People have been overclocking their G2′s to upwards of 1.9GHz. Scorpion is very very scalable.

      I question the bump to 1.4GHz though. I don’t think anything in a modern smartphone is really CPU-bound and the extra power (even instantaneous power) used may not be worth it.

      Of course, I don’t know how WebOS throttles (if it does) the CPU voltage/frequency. Maybe they improved it significantly.

  • http://Website Roland

    A Nexus 3 yes. Come on Google,get her done!

  • http://Website creliandobi

    I know this is a good article–
    but i can’t get past the grime/dirt on that chip & the uneven dimensions of the bottom right corner compared to the rest of the piece.
    hopefully this isn’t an actual press-release photo