Samsung leads dual-core smartphone applications processor market, ahead of Qualcomm

Telecom Lead Asia: Samsung leads the dual-core smartphone applications processor market in 2011. The other prominent players include Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and NVIDIA.

Samsung has 60 percent volume share. Samsung grew in dual-core processors due to its strong sales at Apple and in Samsung’s own mobile handset division.

Qualcomm has 16 percent volume share in the dual-core smartphone applications processor market. The chip major grew on the strength of its dual-core Snapdragon applications processor products MSM8x60 and APQ8060.

Dual-core processors power ultra high-end smartphones. It is accounting for nearly 20 percent of total smartphone applications processors shipped in 2011, according to Strategy Analytics.

Stand-alone applications processors accounted for 90 percent of total dual-cores shipped in 2011. Single-core applications processors are more likely to be integrated. 72 percent of single-core processor chips were integrated with baseband applications processors in 2011.

Strategy Analytics recommends NVIDIA to focus on high volume tier-one design-wins in 2012 in order to maintain its first-mover advantage with quad-core processors. NVIDIA, whose Tegra 2 smartphone shipments declined 8 percent at the end of 2011–compared to shipments in the first half of the year– lost momentum, despite being early to market with dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors.

Strategy Analytics believes that Qualcomm is well-positioned to make significant share gains in 2012 with the help of its LTE-integrated dual-core Snapdragon processor MSM8960,” said Stuart Robinson, director of the Strategy Analytics Handset Component Technologies service.

Strategy Analytics forecasts that dual-core applications processor penetration into mainstream smartphones will accelerate through 2012 and into 2013, and new ARM architectures such as Cortex-A5 will help dual-core penetrate entry-level smartphones at the start of 2013.

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