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Dispelling the Dual-Core Myth

Written by Russell H. Sr. Editor TDG Online

This topic is becoming increasingly vague and disingenuous as the rumors spread. The claims that an Android phone will be coming out in the end of 2010, the beginning of 2011, flown in by Santa on his magic dragon for all the little boys and girls of gadget land to enjoy are to numerous to count. So many little bits of information have come and flown about that this flurry of bad information is looming over us like a cloud. So please, take a seat and let’s have a rational conversation about this, okay?

Let’s start with the bad information. I’m sure by now everyone has seen the mysterious “HTC Glacier” performancecharts, and how it “blows everything away”. The “could this be the dual core Android?” buzzards attacked this like fresh meat. But what does this chart actually show? Look closely at the device’s performance and you will see that in every instance there is one other phone that out-performs it. The Samsung Vibrant scores either identical or superior numbers on this measurement system every time. What, we can have a dual core phone but it’s going to perform worse than a single core 2.1 phone? What’s the point? There isn’t one, because it’s not dual core – and if it is there’s no reason to own it.

The Glacier isn’t the only one getting this attention. The highly anticipated G2, the “G1 Blaze (which, as far as I can tell is an imaginary device)”, the upcoming line of Android/ChromeOS tablets, and really any future performance phone has this rumor surrounding it. Where’s the truth in these claims? Where’s the proof? I have yet to see processor names or numbers at all when these claims come up. Want to know why? The processors don’t exist yet. Here’s what we KNOW:

There are two companies right now trying to put out a Dual Core processor that is ready for mobile devices. In the left corner we have ARM with their Cortex-A9 processor. The A9 comes in two flavors – single and Dual Core. The Single core processor has not yet been used in any phone, and it’s recommended output is 800mhZ. The Dual Core variant is capable of a maximum output of 2ghZ, but it’s power consumption rate is nearly FIVE TIMES the rate of the single core. When tuned down, each core can output at 800mhZ per core, but also requires nearly 2.5 times the power of the single core processor. The dual core processor is not currently ready for end devices according to ARM, but the single core should be seen in devices (not necessarily phones) the end of 2010. In the right corner we have Qualcomm, makers of our beloved 1Ghz Snapdragon processor. These guys have been hard at it trying to get the dual core version of the Snapdragon, with outputs up to 1.5Ghz and power consumption rates untested. These chips are being specifically designed for HSPA+ devices with onboard Bluetooth, capable of decoding 1080p video sources. It’s an impressive chip, and Qualcomm PR says to expect the chip to be in mobile TV devices by the end of 2010, but no phones.

This is not me slamming the rumor guys, but a gathering of FACTS to help everyone understand that while it’s possible, it is extremely unlikely. Additionally, The Droid Guy has been assured by all of our sources that there are no Dual Core devices scheduled for launch in 2010. With this staggering volume of evidence, and the backing by our sources from Samsung, T-Mobile, Verizon, and several other companies – The Droid Guy is calling these rumors false, once and for all.

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