Qualcomm Late with its Dual-Core Processors, HTC Loses?

September 10, 2010 - Written By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner

Oh dear.  Qualcomm misspoke at its annual IQ event in London.  When CEO Paul Jacobs announced their 1.5 MHz dual-core Snapdragon processor would be in products in Q1 2011… oops!  He meant the 1.2 MHz dual-core Snapdragons would appear first quarter.  The 1.5 MHz version won’t be ready to ship in products until the end of 2011.

Now, does this delay affect HTC or is this merely a speako at an industry event that caused a run-up in Qualcomm’s stock price?

Taylor Wimberly of Android and Me did the run-down on upcoming dual-core products, and figured HTC had a problem with their graphics performance.  Whether that relates to Qualcomm’s dual-core production schedule isn’t exactly clear either.  Anyway, here’s what Wimberly came up with:

Dual Core Processors and their related Graphics Processors

  • HTC: Qualcomm Snapdragon (Adreno 220 GPU)
  • LG: NVIDIA Tegra 2 (GeForce GPU)
  • Motorola: TI OMAP4 (PowerVR SGX540) or NVIDIA Tegra 2 (GeForce GPU)
  • Samsung: Samsung Orion (GPU unknown)

LG’s Optimus phones should start showing up with dual-core Tegra 2 during fourth quarter.  Samsung also stated their dual-core Orion processor would be available to “select customers” in 4Q.

The issues is not only that Qualcomm is later to the party than NVIDIA and Orion, but the performance of the onboard graphics processors (GPUs).  The Adreno 200 GPU onboard the Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon turned out to be weaker than expected.  The PowerVR GPU benchmarked much better on graphics tests.

Qualcomm claims their Adreno 205 is four times faster than the 200, and the Adreno 220 is even better.  And we haven’t heard anything about HTC dropping Qualcomm yet.

Meanwhile LG appears to be the first manufacturer to set to release a dual-core smartphone, although Wimberly wonders if they can make that Christmas deadline.  I’ll leave you with Wimberly’s “conclusions,” which are simply more questions about who can ship on time, and who can outperform whom.

  • Can LG and NVIDIA really deliver a Tegra 2 phone in time for Christmas?
  • Will Tegra 2 become the new performance leader?
  • Are we wrong about the Adreno 220 GPU? Can it surpass the top offerings from Imagination Technologies and NVIDIA?
  • Will Motorola actually dump TI and switch to NVIDIA for their high-end phones?
  • Can dual-core phones deliver increased performance and increased battery life at the same time?
  • What GPU will Samsung choose for their dual-core Orion? PowerVR or something completely different?

Sources: Android and Me, SlashGear