Qualcomm and ARM are planning to release powerful processors that may run a new generation of smart phones.
Qualcomm expects to release the 1.2GHz, dual-core 8260 chip in the first half of 2011. A 1.5GHz, dual-core 8672 CPU is expected to emerge in July 2011. Qualcomm is the manufacturer of the 1GHz Snapdragon chip that runs Android devices like the HTC Desire and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.
CNET UK sister site ZDNet UK has reported that the new chips will be used on phones running a wide range of operating systems, including Android, webOS, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry OS 6.
Manufacturer ARM also announced a 'multi-core', 2.5GHz Cortex-A15 processor. ARM claims mobile configurations of this chip could offer five times better performance than today's high-end smart-phone processors. Both the Snapdragon and the A4 chip that runs the iPad and iPhone 4 are based on ARM architecture.
Considering that the dual-core Cortex-A9 chip has only just started to be used in top-end handsets, we're not likely to see the Cortex-A15 in smart phones any time soon, but variants with clock speeds of between 1GHz and 1.5GHz are definitely on the cards in 2012.
Other companies are also pushing ever more powerful chips. Nvidia's dual-core, 1GHz Tegra 2 chip, for example, will appear in a range of new LG smart phones.