Quad-core smartphones and tablets coming next year

MWC dual-core phones out of date by end of year?

Next-generation processors coming to tablets and smartphone in under 12 months.

If you've been following our Mobile World Congress coverage (and if not, why not?), you'll have noticed one of the trends of this year's MWC are dual-core processors making their way into smartphones, as seen on the LG Optimus 3D and the Samsung Galaxy S2, for example.

And yet, cutting edge as these processors are, both Nvidia and Qualcomm are as you read this toiling away on the generation after that: the quad-core chip. These next-gen processors are, according to those in the know at Nvidia, headed for smartphones and tablets as early as this year, casting some serious shadow on the current stable of MWC offerings.

Qualcomm, who manufacture the Snapdragon processors that power so many modern smartphones, are taking a little more time with their quad-core chips, which will be out some time in 2012. But for a look at the kind of blisteringly fast web browsing Nvidia's 2011 chip can serve up, check out the video below.

Keep up with all the latest breaking news from Mobile World Congress at the MWC 2011 microsite.