Qualcomm Snapdragon chip goes dual core; Should Intel worry?

Qualcomm unveils its first dual-core Snapdragon processors in a move to thwart Intel's impending encroachment on the smartphone market

Qualcomm on Tuesday unveiled its first dual-core Snapdragon processors in a move to thwart Intel's impending encroachment on the smartphone market.

As noted previously, Intel plans on taking its Atom line to smartphones. However, Intel won't have a cakewalk given that there are a bevy of intense competitors already in the smartphone market, which mostly uses the ARM architecture. Add it up and you have the following:

  • Chip companies like Qualcomm moving upstream to netbooks;
  • Intel moving downstream to smartphones;
  • Processor utopia for mobile computing;
  • And one fine collision to watch between the Wintel crowd and the ARM folks.

Qualcomm said its Mobile Station Modem, MSM8260 and MSM8660, will integrate two cores running at up to 1.2GHz (statement, Techmeme). These third generation chipsets are designed for smartphones, tablets and smartbooks. Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform is already included in the HTC Droid Incredible and a bevy of other devices such as the Dell Streak Android tablet and Lenovo's LePhone.

Indeed, Qualcomm at that Computex Taipei 2010 conference is showing off more than 140 device designs based on its Snapdragon processors.

Bottom line: Intel will have tougher sledding in the smartphone market. Om Malik noted that the combination of both Qualcomm and Google's Android operating system is the biggest threat to the old Wintel juggernaut.

It's hard to argue with that take. We know that mobile is a huge worry for Microsoft, which basically has one last shot in the fourth quarter to be a smartphone player. Stay tuned for how Intel does.