2012 – The year of Quad-core mobile devices


Each year mobile manufacturing industry takes a new step up the ladder going from single core processors in 2010, dual-core’s in 2011, to quad-core cpu’s in 2012. It seems like this will be the year of quad-core mobile devices.

We are moving into a new era, an era of fast and powerful quad-core mobile devices in which we entered in late last year (2011) when Asus announced the very first Android tablet to sport such a powerful chipset. Nvidia is the first mobile chip maker to deliver a quad-core processor for the mobile world.

For Chinese population 2012 represents the year of the dragon a symbol of prosperity and good fortune, while for the mobile industry this will definitely be the year of “warp-fast” processing devices, a field where Nvidia dominates the market today. We can hardly expect other manufacturers like Qualcomm and Intel to be behind for long as both have promised to enter the Quad-Core race this year.

To show the power of Quad-Core processors we can take a simple example of the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor which is five times faster than the dual-core Tegra 2, debuted late last year on Asus Transformer Prime. Meanwhile,Qualcomm is planning to launch quad-core Snapdragon CPUs with speeds up to 2.5GHz, and with quad-core Adreno graphics processors for gaming. Qualcomm’s Vice President of Product Management Raj Talluri, confirmed that the first phones with quad-core Snapdragon chips will ship around the holiday season next year.

Impressive as quintupling the phone’s speed is, at least in theory, it’s nothing compared with Nvidia’s plan for exponential increases with added cores. The following release, code-named Wayne, will promise speeds up to 10 times faster than Tegra 2. Logan, the processor after Wayne, will clock speeds 50 times faster than those dual-core phones we’re seeing now. In some senses, Tegra 3 is a small taste of your smartphone future, not just from Nvidia, but from all the chip makers.

Samsung’s phones and tablets have used both Snapdragon and Tegra chipsets,however the  manufacturer’s chipset innovation division is hard at work on the next generation of its own Exynos line of systems-on-a-chip. The very recent Exynos 5250,  set to power the Samsung Galaxy SIII as well as all the rumored newer generation Galaxy Tabs (rumored release in MWC, Barcelona)  isn’t quad-core, however; it is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. Like TI (fellow leading processor manufacturer), Samsung seems to be confident that the Exynos 5250 can produce benchmarks and performance competitive with a quad-core processor.

“People are going to consider their phones as their primary computer,” says Nick Stam, director of technical marketing at Nvidia. “Phones with a quad-core processor are really full computers that can replace many functions of your laptop or [desktop] computer. It is a level of performance that truly does rival a desktop processor.”

However, the issue of battery life arises questions as the quad-core processors are destined to consume more power than their predecessors and would surely need a larger battery to last even a day. This issue not only raises question about battery lifespan but also increases the concern of smartphone thickness. This past year saw a great many release of thinner and thinner smartphones, the RAZR, the Huawei Ascend, the Galaxy Nexus and so forth and this could well change should quad-core processors be the next to be installed globally.

Whats more exciting is that we wont have to wait that long to see the very first quad-core smartphones, which according to recent leaks and rumors should make an official debut at the annual Mobile World Congress held each year in Barcelona, Spain (MWC starts on February 27th and ends on the 1st day of March). A place where manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and probably many others are likely to showcase such handsets.

I do not know how enthusiastic people are right now about MWC 2012, but one thing we know for sure that the world will be amazed once more within the walls of the Mobile dome that is MWC.

(Note: Ansh Singh also contribute to this article. If you like our articles please consider sharing them with your friends).