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LG announces dual-core smartphone

New handset can play 1080p HD video

LG Electronics has announced a new series of smartphones with next-generation dual-core processors, which should provide a big leap in performance while maintaining device battery life.

LG's new Optimus line will include smartphones running on Nvidia's Tegra 2 dual-core chips, which will also allow handsets to play 1080p high-definition video, LG said in a statement.

Most of today's smartphones come with single-core processors and are capable of playing only 720p resolution video. Beyond full HD support, dual-core processors could enable smartphones to run more demanding applications like videoconferencing.

The Optimus smartphones will "debut" in the fourth quarter of this year, the company said. The company did not specify when the phones would be generally available for purchase.

The new smartphones will come with two 1GHz processors. The Tegra 2 chip will provide double the web browsing and up to five times faster gaming performance over single-core 1GHz chips, the company said.

Some of the most advanced smartphones today, including Motorola's Droid X, Apple's iPhone 4 and HTC's Evo 4G come with single-core 1GHz Arm processors.

Nvidia announced Tegra 2 in January, initially targeting the chips at tablets. The company has since said smartphones with Tegra 2 chips would ship later this year. Tegra 2 couples processor cores based on Arm's Cortex-A9 design with other components such as Nvidia's GeForce graphics core.

LG is one of the early companies to announce a dual-core smartphone, and major phone makers are expected to follow as chip makers release dual-core chips. Arm licensee Texas Instruments has said it will ship its first dual-core OMAP4430 chip later this year. Qualcomm has already shipped its first dual-core processor, the MSM8660, and plans to start testing samples of a faster dual-core chip, the QSD8672, later this year.

Samsung also jumped into the dual-core smartphone processor race on Tuesday. The South Korean chip maker announced its first dual-core mobile processor, code-named Orion, targeted at tablets, netbooks and smartphones. Orion features two 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, and will be able to record video at a 1080p resolution. The processor will be available for testing in the fourth quarter and will be mass produced starting the first half of 2011.


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