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Although multi-core processors are common today in notebook PCs, they are only beginning to become common place in other mobile devices. Still, in about three years time the vast majority of mobile devices, such as netbooks, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and smartphones will sport microprocessors with more than two cores.

Market research firm In-Stat projects 2010 will be a key year for adoption of multi-core processors in netbooks and smartphones in 2010, while MIDs/UMPCs will see uptake in 2011, and consumer electronics devices will follow during 2012/2013.

“Integration of graphics/multimedia acceleration is a key trend as well. While multi-core dominates in the high performance mobile computing segments, integration of graphics/multimedia acceleration favors the smartphone, MID/UMPC and mobile entertainment device segment,” said Jim McGregor, In-Stat analyst

The use of multiple cores is more common with the x86 architecture today due to its dominance in the notebook PC segment. However, the ARM architecture will see a higher growth rate as the architecture transitions to multi-core configurations. By 2013, almost 88% of the processors sold into the mobile market segment will be multi-core processors.

According to In-Stat, the battle for the fast-growing mobile semiconductor market will intensify beginning in late 2009 and throughout 2010 with the introduction of new multi-core processors from each camp – ARM and x86.

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