Samsung Galaxy S III Phones Going Quad-Core in 2012

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-01-02

I've been off for the past week, but this report from The Next Web caught my eye.

It's nothing special -- just the annual post about what Samsung is doing at Mobile World Congress in February. For this year, that includes the Galaxy S III smartphones.

Recall last year that Samsung unveiled its popular Galaxy S II handset, which has gone on to sell over 10 million units worldwide since April. Those were dual-core handsets, ranging from 1.2GHz to 1.5GHz clock speeds.

The S III represents a natural processor leap to quad-core. It won't be the first quad-core Android device. Asus' Eee Transformer Prime uses Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core chip.

Here's what seems unnatural to me. I've had my Motorola Droid X -- the single-core, 1GHz Android phone -- since November 2010. Verizon's Website tells me I'm eligible for upgrade in August 2012. Great.

If Samsung is really loading quad-core chips on its S III, you can bet Motorola, HTC and other Android handset makers are planning to do the same. That will mean more choices for quad-core communicators.

If most of the high-end Android handsets will be quad-core by then, and I want to upgrade to the latest and greatest phones with the most efficient processors, that means I'll be eschewing the current dual-core phones for a quad-core imbued phone. Obviously.

I've tested a dozen dual-core Android phones and tablets in 2011 -- the S II, Motorola Droid Bionic and Droid Razr, the Galaxy Nexus, the HTC Jetstream and Motorola Droid Xyboard, etc.

But a whole legion of Verizon customers currently on contract may be skipping dual-core chips for the next-generation quad-core CPUs. Wow.

Maybe this is normal in the PC space, where Intel and AMD pump out tons of new PC chips, but this is warp speed for mobile, where we were stuck on MHz chips for years.

The mobile processor innovation will surely slow as space constraints on the dies challenge silicon scientists, but in the meantime we're in a super-frenetic mobile processing boom. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Rocket Fuel