Samsung announces dual-core mobile processor

Upcoming Orion processor could enable next-generation smartphones equipped with two displays

Samsung has announced a dual-core application processor for tablets PCs, netbooks, and smartphones that will be able to handle 1080p video playback and recording, the company said on Tuesday.

The Orion processor contains a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, and its capabilities give a hint at what we can expect from mobile products in 2011.

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Besides handling video playback and recording at 1080p and 30 frames per second, a smartphone based on Orion can be equipped with two displays, while at the same driving a third external display such as a TV or a monitor via an HDMI port, according to Samsung.

Samsung is also pushing Orion's graphics performance. With an improved graphics processor, Orion is capable of delivering five times the 3D graphics performance over the previous processor generation from Samsung, which is used on its smartphone Galaxy S and the newly announced Galaxy Tab.

Orion will be available to "select customers in the fourth quarter of 2010" and will go into "mass production in the first half of 2011," according to Samsung.

Samsung isn't the only company working on dual-core processors for smartphones and other smaller portable products, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are also working on products.

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