Qualcomm readies dual-core processors for smartphones

The latest members of the Snapdragon family will handle video at 1080p

Qualcomm has expanded its Snapdragon family of chipsets with two new models for high-end smartphones, each with two processor cores running at up to 1.2GHz.

The MSM8260 and MSM8660 are the first members of the Snapdragon family to have a dual-core processor, Qualcomm said Tuesday.

The MSM8660 is a multimode chipset that can connect to HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) or EV-DO Rev. B, high-speed networks, while the MSM8260 supports only HSPA+, according to Qualcomm. The chipsets' dual cores will give smartphones the processing power to handle video at 1080p and screen resolutions at up to 1280 by 800 pixels, Qualcomm said.

The company is now shipping engineering samples of the two chipsets to smartphone makers. However, six to eight months typically pass between the shipping of samples, or "sampling" in industry jargon, and the large-scale production that will allow smartphones containing the chips to go on sale, according to a Qualcomm spokesman.

Qualcomm is also working on a number of other dual-core chipsets, including the 1.5GHz QSD8672 for smartbooks.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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