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Nokia puts off dual-core smartphones

Posted: 09 May 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone  dual-core  Windows Mobile Phone 7  Microsoft multi-core 

"ARM has a dual-core Cortex A9 reference design enabling the chip vendors to ship quickly. Most vendors are using it except Marvell and Qualcomm that designed their own multi-core architectures.

The multi-core chips will help speed core apps from the OS makers such as browsers, Flash and PDF viewers. They will also be used by third party game developers.

"It will take time for a broad base of multi-core mobile software to appear," said Gwennap.

About 21 per cent of mobile devices will use multi-core processors in 2011 rising rapidly to 94 per cent in 2015, Gwennap estimated. By 2013 more multi-core processors will ship in mobile systems than in PCs and servers, he said.

Mobile multi-core forecast

Mobile will surpass PC/server multi-core in 2013.

The trend will be accelerated by the arrival in 2012 of dual-core chips based on ARM's Cortex A5 core replacing single-core Cortex A8 chips in mid-range phones. By 2014, those chips will get packed into low-cost smartphones, said Gwennap.

As much as 58 per cent of smartphone sales in 2013 will be for mid- or low-cost handsets sold in emerging markets, said Richard Kramer, an analyst with market watcher Arete Research, speaking in a separate talk. "Cost will be the critical word in this industry because the vast opportunity for smartphones is in emerging markets," he said.

Designers hope to get smartphones to a Rs.3,652.97 ($80) and even a Rs.2,739.73 ($60) BOM in 2012. "If you spend any time in Shenzhen, you see dozens of companies working on that," Kramer said.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

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