Rival semiconductor giants Mediatek and Qualcomm may force down the entry price of quad-core system-on-chip smartphones to $150 (around £90) by the second half of 2013, and to $100 (around £70) by the end of next year, according to a report published by Taiwanese website, Digitimes.
The report cites fierce competition to explain why the drive for cheaper smartphones sporting even more powerful system-on-chips will accelerate in 2013.
Mediatek’s new MT6588 and Qualcomm’s just announced MSM8x25Q SoC will certainly be the two biggest players in that market range, with the US-based Qualcomm betting on its QRD (Qualcomm Reference Designs) to allow its customers to bring products to market faster than the competition.
It is more than likely that vendors will start to prioritise core count over individual core performance in a bid to reduce cost of production and to benefit from the market perception that a quad-core device is better than a dual-core one.
Therefore expect a rise in Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A7 system-on-chip products with low clock speeds (in order to reduce the power consumption, thermal envelope) and to prevent any performance overlapping with higher models.
It’s worth noting that the Apple iPhone 5 still uses a dual core system on chip, the Apple A6.