We're days away from MWC, and it looks like Nvidia is starting to invite the press to their conference there, where they will showcase the first ever quad core Tegra 3 smartphone, which would be another first for Nvidia, which was also the first chip maker with a dual core smartphone on the market (made by LG).
Samsung should be Nvidia's only competitor in the quad core smartphone space in the first half of this year, if not throughout the year. Qualcomm is supposed to have a quad core Krait S4 chip ready by the end of the year, but something tells me that it will only be available for tablets. But the questions is how important are these chips for smartphones?
While I'm sure that quad core chips will improve multi-tasking, I'm not so sure that's a terrible problem on a smartphone. Having a quad core means focusing less on the performance of the first 2 cores, and spreading the performance and costs on all 4 cores, which are unnecessary for many tasks on a phone.
there will be a time for quad core smartphones, but I'm not so sure it's now. I think it's better to focus on more powerful dual core chips first, and then when that has reached its limits, move on to quad core chips. For example, I find more interesting dual core S4 and Cortex A15 chips, because they are significantly more powerful than Cortex A9 at the same clock frequency.
And speaking of which, Nvidia might also announce Tegra 4 at MWC, just like they did last year with Tegra 3, although this time they might be a little behind with the Tegra 4 development. Tegra 4 should be even more unpredictable than Tegra 3 because Nvidia hasn't announced any plans to move to Cortex A15 year, and I'm thinking they are working on making their own custom chips, just like Qualcomm with Krait. It remains to be seen if they will announce anything about this at MWC.