Even though they just started shipping 1.2Ghz processors in June, and we have yet to see those in a mobile phone, Qualcomm has announced it will ship the third iteration of its popular Snapdragon chip by the end of this year. The new QSD8672 should deliver a significant upgrade from the first generation Snapdragon found in such phones as the Nexus One and EVO 4G, using a smaller 45nm manufacturing process and featuring two cores operating at up to 1.5 GHz.

The ARM-based chip will use a feature Qualcomm calls individual voltage scaling, so each of the two cores can be clocked independently for better power management. Other notable features include 1080p video playback and recording, support for display resolutions up to 1440 x 900, support for HSPA+ networks up to 28Mbps down and 11Mbps up, integrated HDMI, DDR2 and DDR3 memory interfaces, as well as improved graphics performance.

Qualcomm imagines these chips going into smartphones, tablets and perhaps even netbooks – though so far netbook manufacturers have stuck to x86 processors. In any case, devices featuring the new 1.5GHz Snapdragon processors should start rolling out sometime next year, presumably in Q1 though I wouldn't be surprised if it takes a bit longer.