Qualcomm today announced its first dual-core Snapdragon processors, which should bring a significant upgrade to the existing 1GHz single-core part found in such devices as the Nexus One, Droid Incredible, and Evo 4G smartphones, HP's Compaq Airlife 100 and Lenovo's Skylight smartbooks, as well as Dell's Streak 5 five-inch tablet.

The new processors will add support for 1080p video playback, 24-bit WXGA 1280x800 displays, OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1 visual effects, and low-power GPS and audio engines. The MSM8260 is for HSPA+ networks (that's AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, namely), while the MSM8660 is designed for multi-mode HPSA+/CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. B networks.

The company's MSM8260 and MSM8660 chips run at up to 1.2GHz and can boost all-around performance by dedicating a processing core to background tasks - old news for full-fledged computers but an exciting proposition for smartphones as they increasingly become multitasking devices.

The new parts could also find their way into smartbooks and tablets as well, and the company says it's "excited by the innovation our customers are already showing as they begin designing products based on our dual core MSM8260 and MSM8660 chipsets."