Dual-Core Processor Phones: Why all the fuss?

After all the new phones we’ve seen coming out of CES 2011 you may have noticed that a few are being billed as ‘dual-core’ processor smartphones. These upcoming devices will be the first smartphones to be launched featuring such a processor but what exactly is all the fuss about and what does it mean?

Chip maker Nvidia is supplying the dual-core processors for new handsets such as the LG Optimus x2 which is being tagged as the world’s first dual-core smartphone and other upcoming phones with the dual-core processor include the Motorola Atrix 4G on AT&T and also the Motorola Droid Bionic 4G on Verizon. Hit the links for more information on each of these phones.

Tom Simonite over on Technology Review explains the function of the processor in simple terms like this, “A processor’s core is the crucial component that receives and executes instructions. A single-core processor can execute only one instruction at a time, while a chip with multiple cores can process more instructions at once.”

Senior product manager for Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor, Matt Wuebbling explains the benefits of the multi-core chip as opposed to a single-core chip running at a higher frequency. He described how when playing complex games for example a dual-core processor can spread the heavy number crunching over the two cores. This means more realistic effects.

Simonite also goes on to explain that web browsing is also enhanced by a dual-core processor, as it can keep up with speeds more easily for wireless network downloading. For instance Nvidia apparently claims that web pages can be loaded twice as quickly with it’s Tegra 2 processor as opposed to single-core processors.

One word of caution though is that it may be several months before apps and mobile operating systems can be fine-tuned to take advantage of multi-core processors. Meanwhile Clint Boulton over on EWeek looks at the dual-core course of the Motorola Atrix and Bionic 4G and also notes that Ken Dulaney, Gartner analyst, said he would be surprised if the upcoming iPhone 5 does not also feature a dual-core processor.

It seems as though there are great thing coming then and many of us can’t wait to get our hands on a dual-core device. What are your thoughts on this and are you soon heading out to get your dual-core smartphone? Why not let us know by sending us your comments.

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